My first encounter with Andy was as a child in the Windy City. I spent the day with my mom and aunt touring the art museum and wondering why everyone thought those Campbell’s Soup cans were so damn important.
As time went on I came to realize the power and talent of Andy, and I’ve had a dwindling set of high ball glasses with the Shot Marilyn images for many years now. Needless to say, having the opportunity to once again spend the day with his work up close and personal was nothing short of magical.
The work of Andy Warhol aka Andrew Warhola will be on display at the Phoenix Art Museum until June 21, 2015. It features more than 170 objects to include screen prints, drawings, videos, paintings, and an installation of his reflective Silver Clouds.
It’s quite obvious Andy was a big fan of the celebrity. As a child he was stricken with a medical condition which, at times, kept him at home, indoors, and tearing out pages of his idols from the magazines. This intrigue would later be a main focus of his artwork, and lets just say he wasn’t shy about a selfie as there are many “Andies” throughout the exhibit.
The Screen Prints
In the summer of 1964 Andy enlisted the help of some friends to come up with a concept of floating lightbulbs. As that idea didn’t pan out based on lack of materials and gravity issues, he decided to go with floating clouds. When I toured the exhibit I happened to notice I styled my outfit without even knowing the balloons were going to be there. Being obsessed with the clouds, and also obsessed with my shoes, it was hard to decide which was cooler.
And Then There Was Marilyn
She had me at hello. When I was little my grandmother gave me a beautiful Marilyn Monroe doll that left a life long impression. Anyone who knows me knows I love Marilyn and clearly Andy did as well. As such, this was my favorite piece to be seen in the exhibit.
The description to the right of the beautiful blonde reads, “Based on a film still from Monroe’s 1953 film Niagara. Warhol began making his images of the movie star after her death in 1962, which also was shortly after he’d begun to make portraits using the silkscreen process. The paintings of Monroe can be appreciated as both a memorial for the deceased actress and an indication of the way celebrity and tragedy are combined in the media.”
After you’ve taken in the complete Warhol experience to include a television which depicts a 24/7 real-time video of the artists gravesite, don’t forget to pick up some swag. My personal thank you’s are extended to the Phoenix Art Museum and to Dr. Jerry Smith, curator of American and European art to 1950 and art of the American West at the Phoenix Art Museum who provided a wonderful tour of the exhibit.