Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reflecting on Andy Warhol

 Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, #175
5 x 7'' - 2009

Pop art emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the USA. Pop art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist's use of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is contiguous with the perspective of fine art. Pop Art removes the material from its context and isolates the object, or combines it with other objects, for contemplation.The concept of Pop Art refers not as much to the art itself as to the attitudes that led to it. (ref-Wikipedia)

Andy Warhol was a major contributor of the movement when it exploded during the 1960's. He was a larger than life figure. Often using other people photography and commecial items to create silkscreen prints and mixed media installations. From Marilyn Monroe to Wayne Gretzky, Brillo soap pads to Coca-Cola, Orange Car Crash to Double Silver Disaster (electric chair). He was also a photographer, illustrator, painter, avant-garde filmmaker and a socialite.

I've always admired his colorful art, and to a certain extent, have been influence by his body of work as a painter. He died the same month I started to paint, February of 1987. Painting #2 of my list of original paintings was entitled, ''Not Andy Warhol''. It was an experimental double portrait of my wife & myself in a se-tenant inspired piece based on his serigraphs. I've had a chance to see a few of his solo exhibitions including a show at the annual FIAC (Grand Palais) in Paris in 1989 and at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto during the spring of 1998. I hope one day to visit his Museum in Pittsburgh.

In this painting are a pocket size journal with two half Campbell's soup cans by Warhol, and an image, Self-Portrait (1967) as seen on page 55 of Tilman Osterwold's book, Pop Art. What surprised me the most about this piece was that I was able to pull off the portrait with paint, because the preliminary pencil drawing was awful. The Chinese ball was the object however that made this piece important enough to paint. Of linking the art with the artist on the reflective sphere.

Part of my solo show- Near & Far - October 16-30, 2009.