This week, I visited Andy Warhol’s exhibition at Whitney’s Museum. Three floors packed with pop art, Campbell’s sauces, Pepsi bottles, celebrities and also some older stuff before Andy became Andy as we all know him.
Andy’s life and work
After finishing Fine arts studies at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh he arrived in NYC and became an illustrator for magazines and advertisements. He had a very specific style which people wanted at that time and is still influencing illustrators until today. Seems like Andy really knew what people love and are we able to go crazy for.
This is something all creatives can learn from Warhol. He was thinking about the world in a very complex way, observing the trends, atmosphere, and preferences of the general public, not only in the art field. He knew that America was all about mass production, everything had to be made quickly and in big quantities, thousands of variations and let’s say be just ok. That’s what Andy reflected in his art. He wouldn’t spend 10 years painting Sistine Chapel. No way. He would use silk-screening to mass produce his art in his studio named Factory.
Andy always wanted to be in a circle of celebrities, which he in the end really became and his Factory became a gathering place of famous people. After watching some videos about this place, I think it was a pretty crazy party place.
First, however, he realized he needs to dress like a celebrity to become one. He changed his style, clothes or body postures almost from day to day. He put on his new glasses, new outfit, invented new posture he would use at all the photos and became Andy Warhol we all know now. Power of personal brand, something I learned as well – make yourself a work of art. As the guide in the museum told us, the best piece of art of Andy Warhol was Andy Warhol.
Yeah! Andy is a master of color palettes. The colors he uses are bold, they pop and provoke emotions. In his collages of famous people (I guess I can call it that way) each painting gives you a different view on that very same person but they somehow together create a unique character that the person might have. Either way, if I would be Merlyn or Jackie or Kim Jong Il, I probably wouldn’t be super happy that some egocentric artist painted me in blue, green or whatever.
Andy’s paintings created pop culture, a new movement which in the time of abstract art presented a completely new stream of ideas. His lifestyle, his look, and character made him unique and unforgettable. He is until today influencing us and the things which are surrounding us.