Warhol. Mechanical Art

Art
5 out of 5 stars
Marilyn Print (1967), d'Andy Warhol
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / VEGAP.

Andy Warhol as an artist was superficial, mechanical, obvious... and as universal as a yawn. Andy Warhol is a magnificent example of a contemporary creator, an outstanding student of Salvador Dalí, and a master of geniuses like Steve Jobs. You can see for yourself in this big retrospective at the CaixaForum: 352 paintings and sculptures, as well as installations, films, designs of magazines and LP covers that all belong to museums from around the world, including the Pittsburgh Andy Warhol Museum, New York's MoMA, the Pompidou in Paris and the London Tate Museum.

This is a unique opportunity to capture this artistic, sociological and business phenomenon in all his glory and in strict chronological order. Warhol elevates everyday items and images to an aesthetic altar, such as Coca-Cola bottles, dollar bills, iconography of media stars (Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy), electric chairs, portraits of millionaires, soup cans... He's the profit of a consumer society as a paradigm, and once said, 'Coca-Cola is the most democratic thing in the world. The Queen of England can never drink a Coca-Cola better than any one of us.' He also coined the expression '15 minutes of fame' when he said, 'In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.' Bingo.

This Warhol exhibition, one of the most important in Barcelona's art season, is a must, even though you might not discover anything new. Warhol puts an end to the romantic myth of art, with the artist as a tortured soul. Almost mute, with greasy skin, hiding his bald head with shabby wigs, he chewed gum and never stopped shooting polaroids or recording people with his tape recorder. A gay transgressor, Warhol went to mass every Sunday. He was also a creative, tireless entrepreneur, who rewarded his numerous collaborators with miserable wages. He was a film producer, publisher of 'Interview' magazine, promoter of the rock group The Velvet Underground, organiser of psychedelic parties, occasional guest celebrity on TV series like 'The Love Boat'... He never hid his love for money and fame.

There's not much to say when standing before Warhol's work. But that doesn't mean that it's empty. Violence, food, desire, recognition, death. Full stop. No romanticism or heroism. Warhol said, 'If there's ever a problem, I film it and it's no longer a problem. It's a film.' The quintessential American artist.

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