“Why do people think artists are special? It’s just another job.” Quote from Andy Warhol
With work that spans three floors and past decades of influence, Andy Warhol is still a contemporary influence on the 21stcentury; even though he passed in 1987. To see Warhol’s work is like seeing the color red; it is everywhere that you look and many times you see it without realizing what you see.
My first interaction with Warhol came during my junior year of college in an Alternative Photographic Process course. He became an example of saturated prints, then our next project was introduced, and I moved on, but his name stayed in the back of mind. We share the same name, so I remembered him vaguely. When I heard of the Whitney Museum’s exhibition, I knew I needed to revisit his work, because we share the same name. Of course, I spell Andi with an I, not a y, but close enough.
Usually, I do not like work that is mainstream and made for the in-crowd. Warhol’s work definitely falls into that mainstream, in-crowd genre. The question is, did I bother to look into his work?
Did I look past the most common pieces and find work that truly spoke to me. I hate to be wrong, but if I’m wrong, I like to be proven wrong. The evidence has to be credible so that I learn from it. Aside from appreciating Warhol’s ability to read the people and make money, this exhibition allowed me to learn from Warhol’s other work. Work that may not be considered his most successful or lucrative pieces.
“It’s always good to get abstract when it comes to economics.”
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)
“I don’t believe in it, because you’re not around to know that it’s happened. I can’t say anything about it because I’m not prepared for it.”
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 123
In a video that documents Warhol’s creating of Mao, he says, “The sloppier it is the best… just be as fast as you can,” while he tells his assistants how to create art, he switches his techniques. Sloppy to Warhol incorporated a large paintbrush, ones that I usually see painting houses, and when he felt that the paintbrush wasn’t quick enough, he started to spread the acrylic paint with his hands.
His strokes weren’t consistent in pattern, and only seemed to have one purpose; cover as much of the canvas as possible.
The end result is a portrait of a dictator using bold, saturated colors that seem to go against all rigid posture held by a dictator.
The sloppier the better, the quicker the better, not a piece of advice I would normally hear from my art professors, yet it’s a piece of advice I enjoyed hearing.
To Andy Warhol, speed is necessary while precision is not, his work is known to be repetitive and showcase high-profile celebrities. Profiles are a dime a dozen with artists and yet, he has work that spans multiple mediums, so it would be severely unfair to remember Warhol by the work we see in textbooks and modern-day culture.
This reminds me that art is subjective, with no right or wrong.
“I think ‘aura’ is something that only somebody else can see, and they only see as much of it as they want to. It’s all in the other person’s eyes. You can only see an aura on people you don’t know very well or don’t know at all.”
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 77
The Whitney Museum is holding this exhibition until Mar. 31, it would be a great experience for any creative to go and explore the inner workings of Andy Warhol. He was a man of many masks and many mediums. He understood people, money, markets, and consumerism. Yet, he was still an artist and one that didn’t shy from creating whatever came to mind; and while I am far from Warhol’s biggest fan I can say that my appreciation for him is growing. Now I will remember for more than just the name we share. Of course, I spell Andi with an I, not a y, but close enough.
“They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 111
AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie
-Remember, never bite your tongue.