Andy Warhol And The Sixties Pop Art Movement

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The day he died- Feb. 22, 1987- they announced it on Mtv. Devastated in the earnest and overblown way only a sixteen year old girl can be- I cried myself hoarse. I wore all black to school the next day. As I skulked through the doors, some kid randomly mocked my Victorian mourning-esque style, asking -”Sheesh! Who died?” We were both rendered speechless after I told him who had died...and the poor kid had no idea who Andy Warhol was. Nearly thirty years later, it still blows my mind that anyone fortunate enough to be alive during the time that Andy Warhol was alive, creating and marketing his art wouldn’t know his name. Born Andrew Warhola just outside of Pittsburgh to Hungarian immigrants in 1928- the world knew Andy Warhol as the iconic artist who pioneered the sixties Pop Art movement, coined the word ‘superstar’, founded and financed the debauchery known as The Factory, and who was the eccentric center of a universe of celebrity for decades. It has been suggested that by way of his business and marketing genius - Andy Warhol gave birth to the mainstream art world we recognize today. If you don’t know him by name- you know his signature screenprinted style and have quoted him at least once with some variation of “In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” What most people don’t know was that Andy Warhol was so much more than that. He was a frail little boy who took up drawing on his sickbed, lost his father early in life and was wholly devoted to his mother, his church, and his art until his death. Few knew that Warhol, a devout Byzantine-Catholic, slept with a rosary on his nightstand and a prayer book under his pillow, attended mass and prayed with his mother daily, and paid his nephew’s way through se... ... middle of paper ... ...s repeated so many times that it loses all all meaning and demands you consider it anew. You can’t walk away with just a first impression. Again and again, he manipulated and edited and altered the image, like he had with so many subjects before. He layered on visual commentary for you to consider alongside Christ and his disciples- skillfully asking the deeper questions about superficial subjects by direct graphic comparison. What does it mean to you? In this light? From this angle? If viewed through the pretty lens of a familiar stained glass window? Does it have to be pretty? Does it bother you if I make it plain? If we just consider Christ? If we consider this again in a modern context? If we consider it in a consumer culture? If it is taken out of context? Can Christ be taken out of context? Is there a difference between the sacred and the rest of life? Not here.

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