Monthly Archives: November 2017

Andy Warhol: Art and Architecture

Andy Warhol was the most Glamorous Figure of 20th Century American Art Born in Pennsylvania in 1928 to Czech parents. He lived most of his life in New York Much about his life was eccentric. He wore a silver wig, he liked to go to the dry cleaners and stand in the corner Enjoying the smells and sounds of the chemicals and cleaning machines. He loved Airports and used to go through airport security multiple times. Because he said: he found it Fascinating and Kind of Inspiring.

Andy Warhol’s great achievement was to develop a generous and helpful view of two major Forces in modern society Commerce and Celebrity. He spent most of his life as an International Celebrity but he was also very keen on business. There are four big ideas behind Andy Warhol’s work, which can teach us a more Inspired way of looking at the world and prompt us to build a better society.

We spend too much of our Life Wanting something Better and extraordinary. It’s normal to feel that the exciting things are not where we are Andy Warhol aims to remedy this by getting us to look again at things in everyday life he performed his magic most famously on soup cans. Putting them on the wall and looking at them helps us to see their beauty to notice. They’re appealing labels as strong but elegant forms Perfectly fitted to their uses, in the same spirit of redirecting our attention.

Andy Warhol made a video of himself eating a hamburger during the 1960s, Warhol groomed a retinue of bohemian and countercultural eccentrics to whom he gave the title superstars including Nice, Joe Dallesandro, Edie Sedgwick, Viva, Ultraviolet, Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling. Warhol understood that celebrities have an Important power.

They can distribute glamour and prestige. He thought that glamour needed to be redistributed in such a way that society could work better for example, he suggested that the president of the United States Could use his status to shift perceptions As he wrote, if the president would go Into a public bathroom in The Capitol and have the TV cameras film him cleaning the toilets and saying but why not?

Someone’s got to do it then that would do so much for the morale of people who do the wonderful job of keeping the toilets clean. He didn’t call his place in New York a studio, the prestigious term used by artists since the Renaissance to describe their place of work. Instead, he called it ‘The Factory’. We tend to feel that the idea of art and the idea of a factory don’t really mix, but Warhol’s point was that business and art actually do very much belong together.

As he wrote, being good in business is a fascinating kind of art during the hippie era, people put down the idea of business. They’d say money is bad and working is bad But making money is art and working Is art and good business is the best art. The lesson of the Factory is that we can organize ourselves to produce good things more reliably and cheaply. One example of this for Warhol Was Coke, he pointed out the wherever in the world you go.

Coke is always the same and is always quite nice art has generally not been able to live up to this idea of being good and widely distributed. Artists make a few things but only a few people ever get to own them Warhol tried to counteract this. One day, after reading that Picasso had made four thousand masterpieces in his lifetime Warhol set out to make 4,000 prints in one day as it turned out It took him one month to make 500 The lesson.

We can draw from Warhol is that mass production needs to apply beyond making prints and other kinds of high art. We need the organizing, commoditizing and branding powers of business to reliably produce and distribute the good things in life, like high-quality child care, psychotherapy, career advice and beautiful architecture, Just to start the list Most art doesn’t have much of an impact on the world.

But Warhol was extremely keen on large-scale impact, he mastered many genres from drawing, painting, and printing to photography audio recording, sculpture, and theatre, he started a magazine, designed clothes, managed a band, made 60 films and had plans to start his own TV chat show. Warhol was able to extend his work into different channels partly.

Because of his populism being a populist meant that he was unafraid to reach people where they started the chat show is a quintessential populist medium. Because it Plays – What Masses of People find Funny and Interesting Warhol was a populist out of Generosity. He Wanted to translate the things. He cared about like Sensitivity A love of Glamour and Spectacle and Playfulness Into Objects and Experiences That Could Touch Many People.

The Only Pity is that he never quite finished what he, did he could have founded his Planned TV Chat Show then gone On in Ever Broader and Broader Partnerships to start a fashion Label Designer Hotel. Maybe a financial advisory service a Supermarket Chain Or an Airport This is the Task Still open To people, who, Had Drawn to Art but, also want to change the World Andy Warhol Died in 1987.

When he was Only 58 after Complications following routine Gallbladder Surgery in a New York Hospital. He is buried at a small Cemetery near where he was Born in Bethel Park Pennsylvania. His example Is Still an Invitation to us to change the world in A mass Populist way through art ‘My Name is Andy Warhol and I just Finished Eating a hamburger’


Art has a very high status in modern societies: People flock to museums and artworks fetch record prices. But our age is also oddly reluctant to say in clear terms what art might actually be for. An odd mystique surrounds it, epitomized by the puzzlement many of us feel as we look at yet another odd looking, modern work of art in a contemporary museum. We’re often left quietly and politely wondering what is it all meant to be about.

For most of history, this kind of question didn’t arise, because it was abundantly clear what art was for. The question mark over the purpose of art is really a modern one, so let’s go back in time and find out about a wider range of options that we might be able to draw on fruitfully today. Rome, 290 AD Deep below the imperial Roman city, the faithful secretly gather in catacombs, or burial chambers, to celebrate new religious figure, Jesus Christ. Christianity, though still in its infancy and ruthlessly persecuted by the Roman authorities, is rapidly gaining ground.

Like so many religions before it and since Christianity has become involved with the making of art. Here, an unnamed and not especially talented artist represents Jesus healing of a bleeding woman, an incident recorded in the New Testament. Like all religions, Christianity is using art for a clear and understandable purpose: to make its message more resonant, emotionally attractive, and popularly appealing.

Art is a kind of advertising for its ideas. Soon Christian artists are going to dominate Europe. For almost a thousand years almost all art produced in Europe will simply be Christian art. From humble beginnings in a subterranean prayer room, Christian art will go on to produce extraordinary cathedrals, paintings sculptures and celebrating and enhancing the prestige of its messages. Thailand, 15th century An unknown craftsman finishes a statue of the Buddha.

One of many hundreds of thousands of such statues produced over the centuries in Southeast Asia. The purpose of such art is extremely clear: You’re meant to look at the Buddha and take inspiration, becoming a little more as he is. The sculpture is an invitation to calm and contemplation. In the East as in the West arts function is evident: to support the truths set down by religions, to make ideas more easily digestible. Paris, January 1801 The French artist Jacques-Louis David finishes “Napoleon crossing the Alps”.

It commemorates a moment when a couple of years before, Napoleon still in his twenties launched a lightning raid on the North Italian states, winning a series of astonishing victories. In the picture, Napoleon masters a white warhorse though he actually crosses the mountains on a more serviceable mule. Here, art is doing something it has done throughout history as well: acting as propaganda for a political cause.

Napoleon is looking back to the example of Louis XIV of France who did a lot of propagandizing with art. It was a habit he got into throughout his rule. Paris, 1833 The poet, novelist and critique Théophile Gautier publish an essay about art, which argues that art must free itself from the poisonous agendas of religions and governments. The point of good art is always to be just for its own sake as he put it in French, “l’art pour l’art”, art for art’s sake.

This doctrine of art for art’s sake becomes the motto of the new generation of romantic artists who set themselves against the old ideal that art should serve religion or powerful rulers or nations. Nonsense, says Gautier, true art must serve nothing at all. it is an end in itself and doesn’t try to change or do or speak about anything. Artists set themselves apart from the bourgeois commercial society growing up all around, which is always trying to sell people things.

Art should try to inhabit a loftier, more abstract realm. New York, 1917 The artist Marcel Duchamp prepares to exhibit his latest work at a show by the Society of Independent Artists. It is surprisingly a urinal titled simply Fountain. Duchamp is a rebellion against many notions of what art is, that it should be easy to understand, that it should make sense, that it should promote something.

The true artist argues Duchamp must defend himself against any confusion with advertising, mass media, government propaganda or religious indoctrination, that true purpose of the artist is to stand outside the mainstream and create works that are enigmatic, mysteriously provocative and rather silent. New York, 1949 A Russian émigré artist, Marcus Ravkovic who has renamed himself Mark Rothko to escape anti-semitism exhibits a new range of works at the Betty Parsons Gallery in Manhattan.

They are a revelation, in that they seem not to be about anything. They are about pure color fields and are as abstract as music. For some, they are the greatest works of the 20th century and soon fetch enormous prices. The Museum of Modern Art acquires a major set of Rothko’s as do other national museums around the world. Rothko becomes representative of the more obscure direction of 20th-century art, highly appealing to an elite who will often pay enormous incomprehensible prices for works but the puzzle for the wider public.

Venice, June 2005 The world’s most prestigious art fair, The Venice Biennale opens at the newly restored spaces of the Arsenale. It has been curated for the first time by two women, María de Corral and Rosa Martinez. 41 artists are shown from all over the world. The nearby Marco Polo airport is filled with the private jets of the world’s billionaires, many of whom profess to love art.

Elaborate cocktail parties are held late into the night. Art has become a playground for the super-rich as well as an obligatory tourist destination for weary travelers. Art is both hugely revered and yet somehow still in question. For most of its history art has been saddled with a mission: to glorify religion or to speak well of the state. Modern art was the result of a swerve away from these agendas for extremely understandable reasons.

Yet if art is to regain its true centrality it should overcome it hesitation about stating what it’s really for and is trying to do. It is really and has always been a sophisticated tool, a tool that can help us to cope with things like loneliness, that can fill us with hope, that can help us to communicate our inner world, that questions power and aims to improve political systems. It is never an insult to ask art to do things for us, to be a practical part of our daily lives. We honor art most when we give it the highest task of all: to help us to lead better lives.