August 17, 2013

Warhol: Immortal

Did you know that the oft quoted 15 minutes of fame maxim originated from Andy Warhol? I'd say he's had more than his share as he continues to influence art more than two decades after this death.

Our culture is so saturated in Warhol images that they have lost some of their impact in familiarity. These days anyone with a computer can create Warholesque pictures. I had thought that Wellingtonians would be out in force to take advantage of the locals offer on Thursday (thank you Te Papa for that) but there were certainly no crowds when I attended. I'm not sure whether we just don't care or if everyone that did had already seen it.

The show tracks Warhol's progress from young man who almost failed art school, to commercial artist through to portraitist to the stars. Although I don't like modern art I was interested by the range of mediums in which he dabbled. He mixed painting, photography and screen printing, but most surprising were the video and wallpapers (including a room with cow wallpaper and floating silver pillows). The strangest things were the Warhol skateboards available in the attached store.

I can see how at one time his art would have been controversial but now it strikes me as commonplace which validates the final line of the introduction to the exhibit. "He is Andy Warhol, and he transformed what art could be."

On now at Te Papa
Showing: 1 June-25 August
Price: $17.50 

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