Pop Art: Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Roy Lichtenstein
Pop art was a movement which emerged mainly in the United Kingdom and the Untied States in the 1950s. This particular movement centered around art which took inspiration from mass culture, celebrities, and other popular movements. Three artists who dominated the movement were Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Roy Lichtenstein.
Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a pioneer for pop art. One of Warhol’s most well-known works is a painting of a Campbell’s soup can. The reason that this painting is so popular is because of its discussion of American society at the time it was created in 1962. Around the time Warhol painted the soup can, America was in the middle of a massive movement towards an aggressive consumer culture. The can is meant to represent this new culture, as it is an image that would be easily recognizable for all those who would view the painting.
Another influential pop artist is Keith Haring. Haring was popular later than Warhol, around the 1980s. Haring’s art was created in more of a graffiti style, it was more abstract than other pop artists. One of his well-known works is titled, Andy Mouse. This work is based off of a combination of two of his idols, Andy Warhol, and Walt Disney. He created an abstract image of Andy Warhol with the body and ears of Mickey Mouse. Haring created this piece in 1986.
Finally, another very important figure during the pop art was Roy Lichtenstein. One technique that Lichtenstein often used when creating his pieces was Ben Day dots, which is using many small dots in different colors in order to create an entire shape. One of Lichtenstein’s great examples of this technique is a painting titled, Ohhh…Alright…, which depicts a woman on a phone call. This painting was created in 1964, and it is a great example of a painting from the pop art movement due to its inspiration in style from comic books.
In conclusion, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Roy Lichtenstein were very famous figures who were a part of the pop art movement. This movement focused on celebrities, mass consumerism, and culture in general, ranging from advertising to comic books. These three artists were not very similar to each other in their works, but they were still a part of the same movement that challenged traditional art styles.
Andy Warhol: the Portrait of Marilyn Monroe
Art can be seen as a way of communication. Art influences society in an abundance of ways such as introducing values and even shifting opinions. Art can also be a way to showcase one’s beliefs or critiques on society. For instance, Andy Warhol’s screen prints of Marilyn Monroe can be used as an example. This work is a statement to society as Warhol critiqued American culture and materialism.
The Meaning of Work
Warhol portrayed celebrities, usually women of his time to show the ties between the society of consumers, drama, and fame. It is also said that through this style of work, Warhol correlated with society in which people can be seen as a commodity rather than an actual human being. Warhol also appreciated women and aspired to turn them into icons of glamour. Marilyn Monroe remains one of the most famous sex symbols in history and is also one of Warhol’s most famous pieces of art. Warhol started to become intrigued by the unrealistic lifestyles that Hollywood icons have to live by to preserve their status in society.
Warhol used a silkscreen technique for the portraits of Monroe which flattened the two-dimensional photo even further. He reduced the number of shades and incorporated bright colors to intensify the emotional flatness. He also wanted to subtly show the superficial side of Monroe who was a sex symbol created by society. Even though the art was focused on her iconic traits, Warhol wanted to remind us that there is still a real living woman beneath the unrealistic image. He may have wanted to depict to society that these women were just like everyone else even with fame.
Each print is vibrantly colored to display her spirited character. Also, her iconic lips are strikingly colored in a deep red. Numerous prints feature Monroe’s blonde hair by adding different shades of yellow. In another one of the prints, the actress is colored in grey and black, a stark difference from the other prints. The dark colors seem to represent a melancholy remembrance of the actress’s passing. The colors bring Monroe’s iconic status and celebrity glamour to life.
As society is blinded by the attraction with tangible items and fame, Warhol was the one who expressed his honest opinions on society. He purposefully featured influential people in his work to comment about society’s obsession with celebrity culture. Warhol’s art is more than just honoring the iconic status of Monroe. It is an opportunity to consider the consequences in our daily lives of the increasing role of mass media.
The Biography of Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol (Andrew Warhola) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928. He and his family immigrated from eastern Slovakia in the early 1920s, He grew up during the Great Depression in an urban area in an industrial city. At the age of 6, he became fascinated with art, but due to illness, he was confined to bed. His mother and 2 brothers would keep him entertained by teaching Andy how to draw, trace and print images. His love for art continued thru childhood too. At age 16 he graduated from Schenley High School in 1945. And in 1942 when his father died, his wish was that Andy would further his education career. In which he did, he was the first member of his family to go beyond high school. During his college days, he was casual drop the ‘a’ in his name to make it sound cooler. To push the point he went as far as signing his artwork without the ‘a’.
In the early 1960s, Andy began to experiment with reproductions based on ads, newspaper headlines and other mass-produced images based on American Culture. Some examples Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles, In early 1962, he began the series of portraits of Marilyn Monroe, other people such as Jackie Kennedy and Elvis Presley were included in his series of portraits. And in 1963 he began to experiment with films, he created a studio known as Factory, this place became a meeting place for young artists, actors, and musicians. During the 1970s and 80s he was a well international famous artist and throughout the world exhibts of his art were put up.
Warhol died in Manhattan New York early in the morning in February 1987 at the age of 58. He was making a good recovery from gallbladder surgery before dying in his sleep froma sudden post-operative irregular heartbeat. Before his diagnosis and operation, Warhol was having recurring problems being checked, including he was afraid to enter hospitals and see doctors. His family sued the hospital for improper care, stating that the arrhythmia was caused by improper care and water intoxication, the case was quickly settled and his family received a sum of money. Looking at the timeline of Warhol’s health, it was suspected that he died from a “routine” surgery, but considering his age, family history of gallbladder problems, a previous gunshot wound, and his recent medical state before the surgery, the potential risk of death following the surgery appeared to be significant. Warhol’s body was buried next to his mother and father and a mmorial service was held in Manhattan for him on April 1, 1987.
Andy Warhol’s Life and Works
I was first introduced to Andy Warhol at my old school, Pathways. We were assigned to do some of his artwork on Adobe Photoshop and this is when I became interested in his artwork and the techniques he used. I chose to do my project on Andy Warhol to learn more about him. Andy Warhol was a famous artist born in America on August 6, 1928 and unfortunately he died at age 59 on February 22, 1987, leaving behind an art legacy as well as the opportunity to create even more works of art. Andy Warhol is an artist that created many well known art pieces; one of them being the Campbell’s soup can. Andy had an excellent career where he earned many awards and recognitions; one of the most important ones being known as one of the most influential and controversial artists.
Andy went through many struggles that formed the famous artist he became. He suffered from hypochondria as a child and while bedridden, studied the celebrity culture through magazines and tabloids. Andy’s father died when he was a teenager, which traumatized him. Andy was able to move on to college and attended Carnegie Mellon University where he learned so many useful techniques and ideas he used in his work. Andy’s poor background helped prepare him for the Pop revolution that was to come by helping him understand the more common elements of what was happening around him.
The basic medium for Warhol’s work on canvas and paper was printmaking, especially screenprint. He was an extremely energetic artist who played a significant role in redirecting the course of art. The Shot Marilyn’s was produced in 1964, consisting of four canvases of Marilyn Monroe shot through the head Dorothy Podber: ‘Witch’ who shot Warhol’s Marilyns, In 1962 Warhol painted his famous Campbell’s soup cans on 32 canvases. He then turned to the photo silk-screen process, which would become his signature medium. In 1968 Andy became involved with a woman named Valerie Salanas who wanted him to produce a feminist play she had written but he found too disturbing. She subsequently shot him,critically wounding him. Critics have seen Andy’s work going into decline but years after we can tell that his artwork did not go into a declined but actually turned more popular.
My Andy Warhol project made me realize all the hard work he had to do to create such fabulous artwork. The process it takes to create his artwork and to use his technique of print screen/block was time consuming and intricate. I had to be extremely precise and accurate while carving out each piece. This made me realize even more how Andy put a lot of time and effort into what he was passionate about. My experience creating Barack Obama as my Andy Warhol project gave me new insight as to how art develops over time. Even though in the start people couldn’t tell what was being created the final product shocked everyone and me. It was amazing to see how Andy’s Tecniche change a simple block print into a piece of artwork to make art different from others.
In conclusion Andy Warhol had gone through many struggles that even though it impacted in some way in his life that never stopped him from becoming such an amazing artist that he was. Andy Warhol is such an inspiration for many including me because he was a man of many talents and use each and every one of his talents and his talents got him to be a recognized artist. Andy Warhole sold many of his artwork pieces as well work with companies to make the logos and there is where he started growing as an artist. One of my favorite quotes from Andy Warhol “As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it.” ― Andy Warhol.
Andy Warhol and Consumerism in His Works
From first glance, American society during the mid-1900s was one of a new found creativity and pop culture. After the struggles of the Great Depression and World War II in the 1930s and 1940s, people in the U.S. found a relief in the new up-and-coming creators, from authors to musicians to painters. “In 1960, nearly half of America’s population is under 18 years old. It’s a young society, and the most affluent generation in U.S. history.” Young Americans were drawn into this new world – of vivid colors and The Beatles – that is, pop culture. Visual artists were especially popular in this new age. “Pop Art was a celebration of this new materialistic culture. It made art from mass-produced objects, the media, and the world of glamour.” Along with these new creators after WWII, advertising and manufacturing started to arise in America as well.
Consumerism and Mass Production
Many of the art produced during this time in the U.S. reflected all the new possibilities and new social structure throughout the country that came along with that, Andy Warhol being one of the biggest artists to do this. Warhol got many mixed responses to his art, most of them being of confusion. This is because of how philosophical and serious which made it difficult for some people to understand. But many were able to appreciate this new abstract expressionism and how he was bringing the new American society into the spotlight and acknowledging the changes that were occurring. One of the main changes of society that Warhol – and other creators at the time – showed in their art was consumerism.
The 20th century was a major period for essentially everything. There was especially a considerable boom in manufacturing products, and therefore, consumerism followed closely behind. Around this time, mass production and interchangeable parts was in full swing. This new way of creating goods and products allowed even unskilled workers to make high quality goods in bulk consequently making them cheaper. This new change in the price of these products allowed the middle class to afford the same possessions as the wealthy. “All across the United States there was a huge assortment of goods and services to buy; and, as the president reminded Americans, the only limits they had were those they imposed on themselves.” Before this switch in price, the middle class, and below, only purchased what they felt was necessary to survive. But now that many commodities were available to the lower class as well, it changed their state of mind when purchasing from want to need.
Commercialization of Art
Many marketing companies took advantage of this new drastic switch in the way people buy products. They were now able to advertise to the newly expanding middle class as well as the wealthy. Advertisers began to create propaganda for new non-essential items seem like something everyone must have. There began to be new innovative campaigns such as Pepsi Cola’s ‘Think Young’ and ‘Pepsi Generation’ from Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn reflected advertisers’ efforts to tone down their claims and establish a new relationship with their audiences. The line between what people need and what they want became blurred. In addition to posters, the media and arts also became commercialized with advertisements. Now that watching television was becoming America’s number one pass time, marketing companies began to place promotions before and sometimes during television programs, drawing even more people into the new world of consumerism. Since this new economy was taking America by storm, many artists and other creators brought the world of flashy posters and comedy-filled commercials into their world of music and more importantly, art. Andy Warhol was one of the primary artists to draw attention to this new way people consumed goods.
Andy Warhol was a very important figure during the 1960s being a pioneer in the world of pop art. Warhol was very interested in society and how it worked. He became very fascinated with the ideas of mass production and he rise in consumer culture. Coca Cola was a main focus of consumerism since the drink was one of the many products being mass produced. Since it was part of consumerism, Coca Cola was also intrigued Warhol. One of the artist’s works was simply titled ‘Coca-Cola’, which showed a black and white portrait of the famous bottle that was one of the first big icons of American pop culture. He was always very vocal about his views on American society and consumerism, saying this about Coca Cola:
“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”
Campbell’s Soup Cans
One of Warhol’s most famous pieces using this art technique was the iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans. Along with Coca Cola, this famous was also being mass produced at the time as it was being demanded by the public. Andy Warhol saw this and decided to include Campbell in his line of works. “Warhol transformed the image into an icon by creating paintings and serigraphs featuring the cans as a focal subject.”
Andy Warhol really showed an intrigue in attempting to convey the manner of consumerism into his works. During the years that he was creating art that reflected consumerism, he founded his art studio and named it ‘The Factory’ to imitate how products and goods were being made. And just like these goods, Warhol made sure that his collection of pieces showing consumerism was made the same way; using a silk screen medium to create his art and having them mass produced by assistants.
Andy Warhol: Consumerism, Mass Production and Pop Art
New Type of Culture
Born in 1928, most of Andy Warhol’s adult life was spent during the years of an economic bomb and the growing cultural of mass production and consumerism. After World War II, the way production was conducted changed forever with faster and more efficient machines being built. With that, a new type of culture developed, which relished in the cheap, fast, unsustainable and idealization of products, food, and high society. Working in advertising before transitioning to art, Warhol understood how to manipulate public opinion and thought, a technique he used tremendously in his artwork. However, his growing separation with his artwork, with the hiring of assistants to actually make the artwork, begged the question “What is Art?”, challenging the way of creating art in a society that is so distant to human reaction. His embracement of popular culture and techniques that mimicked commercial production created an anti-aesthetic to his pieces.
Boredom and Removal
However, much debate arises on what position and purpose Warhol was attempting to convey in his artwork. Were his iconic screen prints an expressed concern for the loss of individuality or rather an expression of “compassion fatigue” – the way the public loses the ability to sympathize – due to the feeling of removal from the individual and the event? Warhol’s depiction of mass production and idealization of celebrities says more about himself and his own opinions than it does as a reflection of society. His images reiterate a feeling of boredom and removal, a trait of popular culture during the 60s, creating an anti-aesthetic with his simplistic, superficial, and general subjects.
The Culture of Consumerism and Mass Production
Andy Warhol’s history of working in commercial advertising and marketing is strongly consistent in his artwork later on in his career. An artist is marked and influenced by his or her decade by “emboiding expression through his or her artwork”. Andy Warhol technique of screen printing was a very mechanical, repetitive and almost lifeless way of creating art compared to the previous art movement, Abstract Expressionism. With the economic boom of the 1960s, Andy Warhol’s subjects were products that embodied consumerism, commercialism and mass production, and with that, a push his idea that commercialism of the 60s was draining people of their individuality. The technique of screen printing allowed Warhol to create a large number of originals with almost no effort, mimicking the growing mass production and desire to get the cheapest and newest objects. Andy technique changes the way art can be created, embodies the period of the 60s, and reveals Andy Warhol’s position with consumerism. All this information begs the question To what extent did Andy Warhol’s technique of screen printing and subject matters is meant to create an anti-aesthetic to the growing culture of consumerism and mass production of the 60s?
Warhol’s Early Career
To understand what Warhol pieces are trying to convey, it is crucial to analyze his background in advertisement, his early artwork, referring to mass production and celebrities, and his own vision of himself and how that trickled down into his artwork. Understanding the meaning behind Warhol’s pieces gives an insight into how consumer obsessed society manifests in an individual. In order to understand how Andy Warhol’s technique channels the period of the early 60s while also expressing his own opinion of society in his own respective life, one must further investigate his background, the economic and social behavior of Americans during the 60s, and analyze the artistic techniques employed in his art pieces. His early life and career helped Warhol develop the techniques to make a spotless internalization of the growing culture of consumerism in the 60s, while also evoking his own criticism of the way Americans relished in consumerism and lavish spending in the 50s and 60s.
Andy Warhol first began his career working in advertisement, creating commercial artwork for major advertising firms such as Glamour Magazine, Vogue and The New Yorker. His early career and education at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (attended in 1945) played a monumental role in developing his artistic skills and techniques. Commercial art is masked as an art form focused on influencing public opinion and promotion, which played a tremendous role in the subject matter of Warhols. His background in consumer culture translated into his early artwork in the early 60s such as Campbell’s Soup Cans and Dollar Bill paintings, in which the subject is consumerism and advertising.
Consumerism and Pop Art
Andy Warhol’s freelance artistic career emerged in the early 60s, a period marked by great economic boom similar to that of the 1920s. However, the 60s did not experience inflation or a recession, leaving its markets to flourish and confidence in consumers to spend their money more and more on novelties and themselves with growing income in the middle class. Major shifts also developed following the second world war within American business. Pre-existing corporations began to shift the way they operated and merged to become “larger, more powerful conglomerates”. Technological advancements in the agricultural field and production of products made it possible for machines to take the place of a worker. Business searched for cheaper labor and cheaper production costs, leading to more discount chain stores and inexpensive fast-food restaurant booming during the 60s. Consumers shopping methods changed with it, as consumers were increasingly buying at these discount stores, buying in larger quantities. People were no longer purchasing items out of need but rather for the luxury of being able to buy new products. People continually feed into the advertisement to purchase often and in large bulks, leading to historians characterizing the 60s as the era and height of consumerism.
With new changes in American society, a new type of art genre emerged: Pop Art. Pop Art manifested out of the full-blown American culture of consumerism of the 50s and 60s. The art form is recognized for its use of “popular culture, as it was transmitted by the media; they [artists] showed a preference for stereotypes, clichés, and common places connected to the American way of life”. British artist Richard Hamilton explained Pop Art as ‘popular, transient, expendable, low cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big business.” Andy Warhol’s technique of screen printing, a process of creating and using (a) stencil(s) to create an image, in his artwork and subject matters umbrellas Hamilton’s definition of Pop art. Warhols was known for his “deadpan riffs” on contemporary mass culture. Warhol’s technique of screen printing itself has been alluded to mimic the production techniques of mass production. The almost effortless process allows the artist to repeatedly print the same artwork over and over again, allowing a design to be consistently produced without actually painting or creating a the copied work. The very robotic technique of screen printing removed the artists from the painting and made it mechanical, like as if a factory had made it.
Warhol’s early paintings were centered around common, household products, ‘all the great modern things that Abstract Expressionists tried to avoid’, stated Ostworld, 2007. The reason for this was so that the audience could understand a relation to the subject, something that was more difficult to conceive in the previous art genre, Abstract Expressionism. He wasn’t just painting mass production, he was embodying it. Campbells Soup Cans, 1962 One of the most famous artworks that clearly related to consumer culture was Campbell’s Soup Cans made in 1962. When Warhol first exhibited the art piece, he displayed them together in rows, almost like products on the shelves of a grocery store. At that time, Campbell sold only 32 flavors of soup, each one corresponding to the 32 cans screen printed. The repetition and uniformity of the cans by carefully reproducing the image 32 times, only changing the labels. The only thing that distinguishes the cans are its label, distinguishing them by variety. Some have analyzed the concept behind the Campbell’s Soup Cans as Warhol’s way of mimicking pop culture and “reproduction of a critical truth about society: the truth. . . of an alienated society that denies the individuality of its members.” (Walker, pg 4). However, one examining Warhol’s own comments on the soup, which he says “I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for 20 years, I guess, the same thing over and over again.”
Andy Warhol and Paul Young: Contributions, Works and Ideas Report
There are many talented people, who have already died, still, memories about their contributions, works, and ideas make them alive always. One of such people was Andrew Warhola, also known as Andy Warhol. His avant-garde style and attitude to his paintings made him popular around the whole world.
If I had a chance to meet this person and ask one question, I would like to know about the system according to which he chose people for his clique. The question would sound as follows: “Warhol superstars were one of the most popular cliques in the New York City. Why were you so confident in people chosen specially in Paul America or Eric Emerson?”.
The biography of the artist was rich indeed: being a fourth child in the family of immigrants, the boy lost his father very soon and suffered because of numerous diseases as a result of which a kind of phobia to hospitals and doctors was developed.
He lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and then he moved to New York where he died at the age of 58 because of serious health problems (Mattern 6). He got his education at one of the schools as well as at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburg and had the special degree in commercial art. To earn for living, he worked in the sphere of illustrating and advertising.
He also tried himself at filmmaking and printmaking, and painting. And all spheres turned out to be rather successful to him. One of his best projects was the development of the clique Warhol Superstars and the studio The Factory where he promoted various actors and musicians.
The main idea of his work was to provide different people with the bright chance as possible because some of them really deserved this chance. The vast majority of his works are interesting to me as they helped to understand that hope and personal beliefs could change the whole world just as Andy Warhol did it.
Paul Young is a successful independent journalist, critic, art writer, and curator (Gallery). His achievements into the world of art remain to be rather influential, and his activities are always under attention of many people. One of his latest interests is 3D technologies and their availability to ordinary people. His projects are always unique and captivating.
One of the questions I would be eager to pose to this person is connected to the ways of how he chooses the themes for his performance. The question is: “When did you understand that 3D technologies could be in demand and were you confident about your success?”. The life of this person does not differ a lot from the lives of many other people.
He was born and continues living in Los Angeles. He got his education in one of the local schools and his final achievement in education was the master degree in film directing. His experience and knowledge provide him with a wonderful chance to earn for living after his graduation.
Though he did not have a day job, his articles appeared in the magazines and journals like The Los Angeles Times, Elle, and New York Times. In several years, he got the weekly column in The Los Angeles Times where he had to highlight the latest news in the sphere of modern art.
One of his projects which are now available to people is SymmetryGates that is performed with the help of 3D technologies. The main theme of this project is not only to introduce how progressive art technologies could be but also to show how changing the world actually is.
Young is the curator who wants to address a variety of ideas in his projects, this is why it is wrong to try to identify the main aspect; still, it is better to enjoy the beauty of the offered performance. It is hard to be not-interested in the works of this person. My interest is based on the possibility to learn the world by means of a variety of details offered in the performance as well as 3D technologies which captivate a lot.
“Gallery”. YoungProjects. N.d. Web.
Mattern, Joanne. Andy Warhol. Edina: ABDO, 2005.
Thomas Crow. Saturday Disasters: Trace and Reference in Early Warhol Essay
Saturday Disasters: Trace and Reference in Early Warhol is the article by Thomas Crow about the early works of Andy Warhol and Warhol’s three personalities with their interests and principles. From the very beginning, Crow underlines that Warhol was “not one but, at minimum, three persons” (Crow, 49).
This very fact cannot but attract the reader’s attention and inform that this personality was not that simple, this is why it will be rather captivating to investigate the life and the works of this person. It is necessary to admit that the thesis of the article under consideration is presented rather clearly.
It is all about Warhol and his passion to art: “Warhol, though he grounded his art in the ubiquity of the packaged commodity, produced his most powerful work by dramatizing the breakdown of commodity exchange” (Crow, 51). However, for a sophisticated author, it is not enough to present a clear thesis and win the reader. This is why it is necessary to think about the possible ways to prove this thesis and persuade the reader that this thesis is supported by enough arguments and cannot be disproved.
To prove that the thesis has enough power and sense, Thomas Crow chooses the most frequent way – to use real-life examples, evidence from the life of Andy Warhol, and his works. So, the possible way to demonstrate the reader that Warhol preferred to dramatize the collapse of commodity exchange is to pick out several his works and analyze them.
One of his famous works were the portrait series devoted to Marilyn Monroe. He started creating her portraits after her suicide. His works were a bit different in comparison to those, which had already been created: “sometimes vividly present, sometimes elusive, always open to embellishment as well as loss” (Crow, 53).
Of course, Marilyn’s photos are not the only pictures, which made Warhol famous. When he comprehended that the images of celebrities made sense, he decided to create more series to represent his vision of their lives. And, it was not surprising that he chose Elizabeth Taylor as his other image to develop.
These two divas of Hollywood attract the attention of plenty of people; their full-face portraits cause numerous debates and much admiration at the same time. These very facts help to prove that the thesis, chosen by Thomas Crow, really make sense and maybe baled up any time.
I cannot but mention the pictures of the electric chair. Crow admits that the series of these very pictures represent fullness and void simultaneously. Those dramatic thoughts, which are connected to this chair, demonstrate a kind of manifestation, liberty, and dependence. Warhol was ready to say something against the death penalty, and his words were in the form of pictures. Just look at those terrible circumstances under which any death penalty happens – something inside disturbs the soul.
To my mind, the article of Thomas Crow about the style of work of a genius person, Andy Warhol, is exciting and strong indeed. It does not impose specific thoughts, but, vice versa, allow the reader to concentrate on the details, which may be hidden at first.
Lots of people do not want to or cannot notice some trifles, which can make this world better, and Thomas Crow makes a wonderful attempt to gather several details as for the work of Warhol and present them to the reader. He creates a strong thesis and uses enough evidence to prove his choice and his correctness.
Crow, Thomas. “Saturday Disasters: Trace and Reference in Early Warhol.” Modern Art in the Common Culture, New Haven, 1996: 49-56.
Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans 11 and the Flash-November 22, 1963 Analytical Essay
Andrew Warhola, better known as Andy Warhol, was born on August 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During his lifetime, Andy Warhol aroused much controversy and struggled for acceptance by the art world. However, the evidence of his achievement is that he is one of the rare artists, especially in the USA, to have had a whole museum devoted to their work.
He produced works in a variety of media, cutting across many artistic disciplines, including: fashion illustration, painting, printmaking, sculpture, magazine publishing, filmmaking, photography, writing, and chronicling the underground art scene. He also generated, from his own life activities and the documentation of his relationships with friends, celebrities, and collaborators, what might be termed early performance art.
He is instantly associated with the movement called Pop Art, short for ‘popular’, and according to Osterwold, inextricably tied to Western industrialized society (Osterwold 4). Anecdotally, Warhol is often the only artist of this style that non-art-history students can name without prompting.
This style followed Abstract Expressionism in time and in approach, moving the art world farther away from the old idea that, for example, a painting is ‘about’ anything, or that works of art are special and one of a kind. Pop Art, and especially Warhol’s work, often featured mass-production techniques (such as silk-screening) and irreverent choice of subject matter (such as soup cans) (Bockris 210).
This movement thereby broke down even further the progressively unraveling classical ideas and limitations on what constitutes high art, or real art, or art of any kind. Besides being an innovative artist, Warhol was notable for his flamboyant apparent homosexuality in a much more repressive decade.
He was both a product of, and an element of change in, the 1960s and 1970s. This was a time characterized by a push to liberalize behavioral norms, in dress, hair styles, sexuality, and use of mind altering substances. His prodigious output and provocative personality and lifestyle still rouse controversy, and discussion (Columbia University).
Two works that reflect both his commentary on the state of society and his reaction to current events are Campbell’s soup cans 11 and the Flash-November 22, 1963. The Camphell’s Soup Cans 11, produced in 1962, depicts an array of 32 seemingly identical cans arranged in a grid of rows (Warhol). Though initially not recognized as actual art, the exhibition of the piece marked the beginning of a public debate that provided Warhol with much-needed publicity.
Although students and fans may argue endlessly over the significance of this work, it retains its ability to delight and surprise the viewer and trigger questions about what constitutes real art. The group of pieces titled Flash-November 22, 1963 was also a major work by Warhol. Warhol made this work at a time when the country was still obsessed by the media-hyped spectacle of Kennedy’s assassination. It includes an array of 11 screenshots, supposedly taken from the newswires from the time of his shooting and shortly thereafter.
Warhol was struck and disheartened by the four years of persistent media emphasis on the assassination. Thus, this piece of art work is highly relevant to events and trends of its time. It is also prescient in its acknowledgment of the increasing power of media to whip up public feeling, even very cynically and artificially. This paper will endeavor to describe these two pieces of art as art, and suggest meanings.
Camphell’s Soup Cans 11
Camphell’s Soup Cans 11 is a series of thirty two separate 20X16 inch canvases screen printed with synthetic polymer, and hand-stenciled with the names of the 1962 range of Campbell flavors. Thus, Warhol embodied several of what would become key characteristics of Pop Art: appropriation of a pre-existing image and well-known brand name, repetition by nearly mechanical means, removal from its usual context (the grocery shelf), and confusion between hand work and use of technology (silk screening plus hand stenciling).
Regarding appropriation of images, Warhol himself said,“Pop artists did images that anyone walking down the street would recognize in a split second—comics, picnic tables, men’s pants, celebrities, refrigerators, Coke bottles.” (MOMA)
This use of recognizable commercial images simplified many of the choices that artists previously had to make. The basic elements of art were rather predetermined. In the case of Campbell’s Soup Cans 11, Warhol preserved the color values of the actual can labels, offering a sharp contrast between the red, white, and black. The line is very clear cut, and regular, moving up, across and down again around the can’s silhouette.
The shape is also pre-selected, and decidedly geometric rather than organic. The texture is difficult to tell without being in the same room, but if other silk-screened works are any indicator, then the texture, both visual and tactile, is likely to be smooth and unobtrusive. Warhol permits the mass of the cans to be suggested by the viewer’s familiarity with the apparent subject – a cylinder – as well as his competent use of perspective.
In elevating a humble soup can to the level of the Mona Lisa, Warhol was reflecting his own love of soup as a child, but he was also saying that art does not need to depict angels and kings to be art (Stinespring) (MOMA). There was also perhaps a critique of the world around him. John Stinespring characterizes the evolving criticism of Warhol as increasingly attributing to the artist a commentary on, “commercial, mass-produced, and somewhat sleazy nature of modern American society” (Stinespring).
He also pioneered a way of being a brand himself as an artist, because he could produce many nearly identical copies of his art (Schroeder). Other variations on the soup can theme showed damaged or torn labels. These works could be interpreted as commentary on the superficialities of American society, or simply a joke. The painted label is coming off in some of these, showing only another surface underneath, not the soup itself (Stich 91).
Flash-November 22 1963
Flash-November 22 1963 is a part of a portfolio of images exploring the period from the Kennedy campaign to the capture of Lee Harvey Oswald (Telfair Museum) . Warhol used cropping, alteration of color, and massively increasing the contrast of news photographs (the news flash of the title) and posters (Moorhead 92) to suggest the ways he felt that the media manipulated the public (Stich 182). As such, their color palette is limited.
The example picked for this paper shows a high contrast shot of Jackie Kennedy grieving, duplicated twice. The color values are fairly intense. There are only two colors: purple evoking both royal garb (which seems appropriate for the residents of ‘Camelot’) as well as priestly vestments, and black evoking death and finality.
There is the shape of her face, suggested by the sketchiness of the grainy photograph enlarged many times. The duplication gives rhythm to the composition. The lines of Jackie’s face: her brows, her hairline, her chin, are all round and echo one another. The overall shape of her face is a rough oval, evoking classical ideals of feminine beauty.
However the high contrast of the screen prints make the organic forms of her features seem like marks on a map or mountains on the moon. Although, as with the Campbell’s Soup Cans, there is probably little texture from the silk screening, the illusion of texture arises from the graininess of the much-enlarged newsprint. When viewed as a woman’s face, the pictures give the impression of real-life mass, but if viewed as simply shapes of black on a purple background, they dissolve into abstraction.
This work, as with Warhol’s other images of celebrities, calls on the viewer to consider the nature of fame. Here is a beautiful woman grieving for her lost husband – the painting raises the question; is it worth it to have been the most powerful woman in the free world if she is robbed of her mate as a result of that power and fame?
These two works of Warhol’s embody several aspects of Pop Art, which was, “popular, transient, expendable, low cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big business.” to use a description by Richard Hamilton (Biography.com). Warhol’s soup cans transform every package into a potential masterpiece. The nearly hieratic image of a weeping Jackie forces the viewer to recall the assassination differently, and is particularly significant right now at the 50th anniversary of that event.
Warhol is quoted as describing the movement that he helped to propel into the national consciousness as follows,” Once you ‘got’ pop, you could never see a sign the same way again. And once you thought pop, you could never see America the same way again.” (Biography.com) These two pieces of art have helped this student ‘get’ Pop, and perhaps even ‘think’ Pop, and look at America and at art differently ever hereafter.
The art critics in Europe and eventually those in the USA accepted his substitution of advertising icons for those of the past, and his use of pre-existing images, among many other innovations, and art thereby moved beyond Abstract Expressionism decisively. (Fallon 18) (Danto xi).
Biography.com. “Andy Warhol” 2013. Biography.com. Web.
Bockris, Victor. Warhol: The Biography. Cambridge: De Capo Press, 2003. Web.
Columbia University. Andy Warhol. 2013. Web.
Danto, Arthur. Andy Warhol. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Web.
Fallon, Michael. How to Analyze the Works of Andy Warhol. Edina: ABDO, 2010. Web.
MOMA. “Appropriation” 2013. MOMA. Web.
—. “Campbell’s Soup Cans: Andy Warhol” 2013. MOMA. Web.
Moorhead, Jasmine. Pop Impressions Europe/USA: Prints and Multiples from the Museum of Modern Art. New York: MOMA, 1999. Web.
Osterwold, Tilman. Pop Art. Cologne: Taschen, 2003. Web.
Schroeder, Jonathan E. “The Artist and the Brand.” European Journal of Marketing 39.11/12 (2005). Web.
SOLOMON, DEBORAH. “For Individual Artists, Museums All Their Own.” 28 March 1999. New York Times. Web.
Stich, Sidra. Made in America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. Web.
Stinespring, John. “The Critical Response to Andy Warhol – Review.” Studies in Art Education 40.1 (1998). Web.
Telfair Museum. “Warhol/JFK: November 22, 1963 A Selection of Andy Warhol Prints from the Herbert Brito Collection.” 2013. Telfair Museum. Web.
Warhol, Andy. Campbell’s Soup Cans: 1962. MOMA. The Collection. New York: MOMA, 1962. Web.
- The Norman Rockwell Museum was founded a year or so earlier, in 1993 (SOLOMON).
Andy Warhol’s Biography Essay
The art of painting has undergone massive evolution in its history, which spans many centuries. In its evolution process, many styles have developed thus expanding any painter’s repertoire notably.
Among the many styles that have developed over time is popular art or simply ‘pop art’, which became widespread in the second half of the 20th century. Andy Warhol emerged as the most illustrious among other pop artists. This essay seeks to examine Andy Warhol and his painting career with a focus on his style, its tenets, and his overall contribution to the art of painting.
Andy Warhol in Perspective
From a moral perspective, Warhol’s paintings do not seem to breach any norms, yet they still spurred heated discussions. However, the fact that his paintings were so intriguing to such a wide range of people is of particular interest. In addition, the reason behind his being named the “prince of pop art” is also of interest.
Andy Warhol was born in 1928 and was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by his parents who were both Czech emigrants (The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2013). His mother, being artistic, encouraged his interest in art with presents for accomplishing some minor art tasks.
In childhood, he was in and out of school most of the time due a chorea attack, which adversely affected his acceptance by other students and consequently his self-esteem. Warhol started art classes at high school level and went on to study art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2013).
As an artist, his career was hardly influenced by other artists, but his work widely influenced others. He discovered a technique he called the “blotted-line technique” while in high school and went on to use it at the dawn of his career. The technique earned him some recognition, but he later abandoned it and started painting on canvas.
The use of canvas led him to discover silk-screening, which he used for the rest of his career. His most remembered painting is that of Campbell’s soup cans. He died in 1987 aged 58 years after successfully surviving a surgery (The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts).
The nature of Warhol’s paintings pitches him as a spontaneous artist whose dominant theme is quite elusive to pinpoint. His paintings depict a wide range of themes ranging from love-related issues in his Love and In the Bottom of My Garden to moral issues in Late Paintings (Danto, 2009.). His style has been described as being so full of life that the paintings seem to ‘pop’ out of the canvas (Guiles, 1989).
Pop art, which Warhol practiced, emerged first in the Great Britain where it was used to criticize the British lifestyle in the 1950s (Watson, 2003). In the US, it came as a departure from convention so that artists could paint anything that was part of popular culture. In Britain, pop art was initiated and propagated by the Independent Group while in the US, the movement behind pop art was simply known as the Pop Art Movement (Watson, 2003).
While other artists espoused the idea of artistic authenticity and genius, Warhol refuted the idea and mass reproduced his work, which made his studio practice distinct from other artists to the extent of his studio being called ‘The factory’ (Watson, 2003). The public was receptive of Warhol’s work with many touting his paintings as among the best of pop art. Being named the prince of pop art supports the idea that the public loved Warhol’s work. His peers too seem not to hold anything against him.
Warhol’s was a great artist who receives approval from both the public and his peers. His pieces of art still intrigue many to date not to mention his influence on pop art. He was the envy of his peers in his heyday and those who emulated his style emerged as great artists. My opinion about Warhol did not change over the course of my research.
Danto, C. (2009). Andy Warhol. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Guiles, F. (1989). Loner at the Ball: The Life of Andy Warhol. New York, NY: Bantam.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. (2013). Andy Warhol Biography: Pop artist and cultural icon. Retrieved from https://warholfoundation.org/legacy/biography.html
Watson, S. (2003). Factory Made: Warhol and the 1960s. New York, NY: Pantheon.