Who’s Hot?

The development of art in the 20th century contributed to the diversity of art and numerous experiments which led to the appearance of new styles, movements and artistic schools. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that there were artist who, to a significant extent, defined the development and progress of the 20th century. Among such artists it is possible to name Andy Warhole. In fact, this artist is considered to be one of the founders of the pop art whose works mirrored his unique view on art and its role.

First of all, it is necessary to say a few words about Andy Wahrol who is one of the most popular artists in the US.

The media called him the ”˜Prince of Pop’ and he was really successful since he made his way from Pittsburgh working class family to an American legend. Andy was very talented in drawing and painting but his first big break was in August 1949 when Glamour Magazine asked him to illustrate an article called “Success is a Job in New York”. By 1955 Andy Warhol had almost all of New York copying his work. Also Andy Warhol was into doing popular items Coca-Cola and celebrity faces, like Marilyn Monroe and painting was his real passion. His “Campbell’s Soup Can” is a classic and an easily recognized work of Andy’s.

It is very important to underline that when he started his work as an artist he wanted to “remove the difference between fine arts and commercial arts and he also wanted to mass produce his own pop art” (Rosenblum, 1979). His favorite printmaking technique was silkscreen that came closest to his idea of proliferation of art.

On June 3rd, 1968, the event that significantly influenced his further life happened. On this day, Valerie Solanis shot Andy Warhol three times in the chest but luckily the artist escaped the death. After this event he has never recovered fully that probably influenced his creative work. Remarkably that since that time he has been spending most of his time making portraits of rich and affluent of his time like Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, and Brigitte Bardot and his work became more and more entrepreneurial and he said that “making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art” (Bockris 1987). Nonetheless he still made a significant contribution to the development of pop art.

Frankly speaking, I do not really share the admiration of the public and some critics with woks of Andy Warhol in regard to the artistic value of his works. To put it more precisely, I do not like the idea of commercialization of art, which accompanied the popularization of art launched by Andy Warhol. On the other hand, it is hardly possible to underestimate the importance of his work because it is true that his works has changed our perception of the popular art. In fact, he laid the foundation of pop art and, unlike many of his predecessors and contemporaries, he rejected the idea of the creation of works of art for the art’s sake, but, instead, he attempted to make art closer to the public.

This idea of popularization is very important and, in my view, this idea is correct. But the problem of Andy Warhol was the choice of the form of the popularization of art. It seems as if he simplified art to make it comprehensible to the mass audience. However, I think Andy Warhol underestimate aesthetic potential of the audience and simplification of art is an erroneous direction in the development of pop art. Instead, it is necessary to produce artistic works that would be really interesting to the mass audience and bear substantial artistic value.

In this respect, even our clothing can be used as the means of expression of our position and our artistic ideas. At this point, it is possible to honor the contribution of Andy Warhol in the development of pop art in the 20th century and include some elements of his works in clothing. For instance, it is possible to wear a t-shirt which would have two portraits as Andy Warhol depicted them, the portraits of Mao and M. Monroe. Mao’s portrait should be placed on the back and symbolize the past, implying not only the past history but also the past of art which was limited and constraint by boundaries of stereotypes and traditions of art in previous epochs as Mao oppressed opposition in his country and limited art by ideological constraints. On the hand, the portrait of M. Monroe should be on the chest, closer to heart, and symbolize the pop art of the 20th century since Monroe was a celebrity and a symbol of American film industry and, at the same time, cinema was the art that emerged in the 20th century and, therefore, it may be viewed as a symbol of pop art. In such a way, it will be possible to combine works of Andy Warhol and convey clear message concerning progressive character of pop art compared to limitations of traditional art.

Leave a Reply