Art History Party: September Focus on Warhol

Welcome to the Art History party I am throwing here on my blog. Let’s start with Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement. I dare you not to smile at some of the Pop Art images. But first, a little background … When I was in college, MTV was at its zenith. It showcased new music in short videos and the lines were often blurred when identifying who was a “performing artist”, “visual artist”, or “musical artist”. Many artists were all three types, but no matter the category; they were the ones to watch. They were the trendsetters most of my generation wanted to emulate. The celebrities in the news included the enigmatic Andy Warhol, along with the ever present Grace Jones. What a striking image the duo always seemed to make. They were like a living art installation with each appearance. Andy Warhol was also the host of a talk show on MTV from 1985-1987 (Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes).

Even though I was an art major, even though I knew Andy Warhol was an artist and one of the “cool kids”, I confess that I did not give him much thought or attention. I also confess that, even though I L-O-V-E art history, I did not know much about the Pop Art movement in general. Don’t misunderstand, I did not dislike it, I just knew of it and, like most college students, moved on to what would be on the test. Perhaps it was my maturity level at the time, the season of life, or the fact that Pop Art was unfolding before my very eyes. Sadly, I did not give it my attention when I had a front row seat. Sure, I got the MTV t-shirt Andy Warhol designed (thanks to my cool, generous sister), but I never gave the shirt much thought beyond the coolness factor when I donned it with my acid-washed jeans and Kaepa tennis shoes. I still have that t-shirt, which is further proof of how un-cool I am. Either that or I’m a hoarder, but that is another post entirely.

Exhibit A: 1980s T-Shirt
Exhibit A: 1980s T-Shirt

Fast forward to 2012, when I was fortunate to visit theMcNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas for the Fame and Misfortune exhibit. This wonderfully curated exhibit included 150 objects borrowed from the Andy Warhol Museumin Pittsburg. The exhibit was curated in such a way that it made me curious, shocked me, educated me, and overall piqued my interest in Andy Warhol, as well as his art. Since visiting that exhibit, I have paid attention any time Andy Warhol is mentioned.

One recent discovery was the book titled The Trip: Andy Warhol’s Plastic Fantastic Cross-Country Adventure by Deborah Davis which I recently finished reading and mentioned to my Newsletter “Tribe”. Ms. Davis’s book chronicles Andy Warhol’s September 1963 road trip from New York to California that he made in the company of three friends and a Ford Falcon. Much of their trek followed the famous Route 66, which was considered “America’s Main Street” back in the day. Since the trip began in September, I thought it would be fitting to spotlight Andy Warhol this month. So, join me each Wednesday in September (Warhol Wednesday) to explore a little more about Andy Warhol and his art.

Next Wednesday, we will delve deeper into Pop Art before we take that cross-country trip with Andy Warhol.

Until then,

Stay Cool!