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Andy Warhol: Revelation

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  1. Warhol
    Photograph: Anna Rahmanan
  2. Warhol
    Photograph: Anna Rahmanan
  3. Warhol
    Photograph: Anna Rahmanan
  4. Warhol
    Photograph: Anna Rahmanan
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Time Out Says

A new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum offers an intimate look at Andy Warhol's upbringing, specifically dissecting how religion impacted his work.

Plenty of people may not know that Andy Warhol was a religious man with deep ties to the Catholic faith. Although proudly living as an out gay man, the artist was raised in the Byzantine Catholic Church tradition and his relationship to the creed actually influenced much of his work, a segment of his art that, until now, hasn't been properly dissected by the general public.

"Andy Warhol: Revelation," a new exhibit opening on Friday at the Brooklyn Museum, seeks to do just that. Featuring over 100 objects—from some of Warhol's own belongings to the artist's drawings and rarely seen prints—the show explores the Pop genius' career through the prism of his religion.

Although not as grand as expected given the heftiness of the subject, the exhibit does a great job at showcasing as-yet unexplored portions of the life of an artist who has been the subject of countless shows and profiles throughout the years. 

Housed on the fifth floor of the museum, the exhibit is split into various sections, each one tackling a specific aspect of the Warhol-religion relationship and highlighting interesting factoids about his personal life.

Visitors will be surprised to learn more about Warhol's reaction to his being shot by Valerie Solanas, a radical feminist who almost killed the artist in 1968 after freely entering his famed studio, The Factory. The show also delves into Warhol's series of works depicting breastfeeding mothers, which he portrayed in almost religiously reverential tones; his fascination with the Pope, whom he met among a throng of five thousand people in 1980; and his collaborations with another renowned artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat.

One of the most visually striking works on display actually involves said partnership. Ten Punching Bags features, well, ten actual punching bags that depict hand-painted repetitions of Christ, intermingled "with Basquiat's emphatic text reading 'JUDGE.'"

But the pièce de résistance undoubtedly involves Warhol's epic Lats Supper series. The artist created over 100 reproductions of the original work by Leonardo da Vinci and 22 of them were exhibited across from da Vinci's own mural in Milan just a month before Warhol's passing in 1987. The source materials for his Last Supper screen prints are on view together for the very first time in "Andy Warhol: Revelation." 

Written by
Anna Rahmanan

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