Andy Warhol, Michael Heiser, Marilyn Monroe discussed on Forum

KQED Radio
| KQED Radio


It's also one of the most iconic of Warhol's paintings. I don't be done in his maybe wanna say something done, actually, you say about this. I also wanted to add here that you later on. You see work that looks at drag queens, and transgender identity and so forth, you well, I mean, I think that if you start to look at Marilyn Monroe, you know, you could see her at a variety of different ways. And I think this is where the complexity of Warhol is so extrordinary, you know, because it really depends looking at it, and this. Where he has a coded language that, you know, if you're a gay man, you're gonna get in some way. And if you're a straight woman, you could also see, you know, Elvis as this great love interest. So I think this is really where the fifties, very important to see because it's more hidden when you get into the sixties and the other thing about the most wanted men still mazes me is that it appeared on the facade of the New York state pavilion, at the world's fair. And the reason it was taken down. I think the homoerotic aspect was missed. It was really Rockefeller, who was very he was worried he was running for reelection and number of the accused were of Italy American heritage. And he was afraid of losing his constituents. And so that was the principal reason. And of course, Warhol than said, I'll put up a giant portrait of Robert Moses, which the fare didn't want either. But it's such a public thing I still think it's so radical to think of that work in nineteen sixty four on the world. I can't think of anything that comes close to it. So he was outrageous war, and it was so willing to sort of test the limits of what was seen as proper or conventional. And I think that's throughout, whether it's using the silkscreen, whether it's the oxidation paintings, which were made by having people urinate on a on a on a copper ground. He is pushing the envelope all the time, and yet he always looks like this shy retiring man, who says kit from nothing exactly exactly little working class from Pittsburgh. I wanted to our caller, a lot of people want to join us. But I have to ask you because. Producer Tina lover walked away talking about. We both talking about that series of photographs. He took an photograph book with a lot of quarters in his pocket. That story either one of you, that's the portrait of Ethel scull. So Ethel scull and her husband were great collectors in the nineteen sixties. And she wanted commission Warhol to do her portrait, and they went to the factory. And I think she thought it would be a conventional ship photo shoot. But instead, he took her down to Times Square with a lot of quarters fed them into the photo booth. And you know she really performs for the camera. And when you see this painting, which is, you know, her image and multiple poses over a series of modular. A rectangular canvases in different colors. I mean, it really does have the sense of first selfie. And it's really one of the great works. It's actually she, she gifted it to the Whitney and met co-owned by both institutions, and it's just, you know something where Phil mic cinematic and it's just the most incredible. And in a way, very straightforward. This is the thing about war. He does things that if you scratch your head he would say, well, what a great idea what I think of it. Of course, we didn't think of it, and I think people will really enjoy seeing that work figuring out thinking about let me read a comment callers from Robert didn't Warhol, simply rebrand, existing photographic images. For example, Brando and Marilyn Monroe as his own. Is he not a greater marketer, like Jeff Koons than an artist? Please discuss why we should consider as work historically exception. What we've been doing that? I think this whole segment hair, but what about that idea that, you know, he was just in fact, I think I was telling you, both when we're going taking me through maintain that I had recent a recent opportunity to interview and Tibo for the California academy of the arts, and he comes from very commercial background. I mainly dry goofy and Mickey Mouse for Walt Disney. There seems to be often an attitude that if somebody comes out of that background, somehow they're not as sacred or they're not as deserving our veneration. As artists Michael, I would say about that. You know, most people know were whole from reproduction, and there hasn't been partic- so much of the work directly. And that's why we wanted to do this kind of exhibition because WorL is I call him a formalist he made lots and lots and lots of decisions about how he was going to make painting how an image was going to be presented. So how it was formatted, how cropped the, the way it was the colors, the inks and once you see the works themselves, you see how much decision making went into them, and that he was actually very precise, and very disciplined about the making of these works of art. I think he was a genius. And I'll say that very publicly and without even slight. In addition, here's Juanita's our first caller, you're on the air. I'm calling to find out your opinion of, of a great pop artist by the name of Carita head to contemporary and million with her work as I went to school. It was. And just wanted to know I think she was aware of Warhol. With her. Nobody your what are your kids? I don't know that he I can't say for certain that he was aware of her. But I think our work is extraordinarily and powerful and has that freshness and capacity to communicate. So I'm really glad that you've brought her up because I think they're just many fans and there's a lot of artists actually who are also big fans of her work. And thank you, Anita. Let me go right to another caller. That's Louis Louis you're on the air. Good morning. Michael and gap. You bet. Awards several years stack. And I'm recalling a work called Jack and Jackie which if I'm not mistaken, within black and white, and I, I was not aware before seeing that exhibited Andy work in black and white. And I'm wondering in your guests comment on that he often. Yeah. There are number of things that are done in black and white. You know, it's interesting, the color, of course, the black overlay that you see in Warhol's, work ink is always black, and then the colors are underneath. It's interesting, you bring that up because you'll see in the celebrity portrait's there are a number of artists. Michael Heiser, the great artists who worked in the land, and we also had in New York's several others. There's a portrait of Keith haring we're hall. It's interesting that number of the artists, he chose to portray or he did in black and white. Which, of course, has a graphic quality to it. And so, I think that's an interesting. Observation on your on your part, and I thank you for the call. I want to say something because many of our listeners, very political minded, and there's a lot to glean from this exhibit there. There's actually a painting of Richard Nixon, and it says vote for McGovern on, but there's also you know, from the civil rights movement, their stuff there from whether case assoiation from news. Really, I mean he was eager absorb tabloids, and he used that in his work as well. But also just going into current events and making them palpable in his art. Here's another caller, David. That's you. Good morning. Yeah. Good morning guys. Just had a couple of observations one, somebody who's not an art expert. I just love the way he would take these iconic images. You know, the Campbell Soup can these various commercial things that I think are super interesting. And how you know, he just looked at the world trade different lengths. I think that's incredible. Secondly, I just wanna comment my brother. I was a gay man who died of aids. And I think Warhol's icon, ecstatic as this gay liberation leader had a huge impact on my brother's life. And I just be interested in you got on on those two point. Thank you so much for taking my call. Thank you. Well, let me maybe the last the last point Warhol has been a, you know, that he, he was he did not cover up being gay, and that he was, you know, it was any celebrated gay a lot of gay imagery gay content, and so on and. And I think he is admired as a pioneer. There have been many other artists who were gay, who were much much, much more hidden about that part of their identity. So stonewall and his work. For example. Yes, he again, he celebrated these drag queens, and transgender people, and did these glorious portraits of them. And one of them is Marsha p Johnson. Johnson Marshall Johnson, who was one of the leaders of the stonewall rebellion in the bar. And then she also is one of the first people to become very involved in gay activism, in New York in the seventies, people are asking questions about the right age for an audience for the exhibit someone says, I have a ten year old who is introduced the artists last year and third grade would love to bring her to see the exhibit with exhibited information, be age appropriate for an upper elementary school audience. Teresa, another listener says, what would you say about Warhol to someone knows nothing about him? I'm taking my twelve year old to s. Moment next week. So two questions kind of connected age appropriate and I will say that, you know, at the Whitney, I cannot tell you the number of school groups that we had come and I loved going through the galleries and watching them draw frankly sit in front of the of the Campbell Soup can and make their own drawings. And I think that the color of war world colors and the immediacy of his images is just draws people in of any age. I do think there's something for everyone in Warhol. And I think that I think it was an incredible generosity and Warhol because I, I mean, clearly there different levels of meaning that one can glean deeper that you look, some of them, obviously dealing with heavy things about everyday life, and life and death. But I also think that there was this celebration of the every day that Warhol wanted people to enter into at no matter what age, we're talking with Donna. Salvo deputy director for international initiatives, and senior curator at the Whitney museum of American art, and Gary Garo senior curator of painting and sculpture does have moment. Exhibit Andy Warhol from eight to be back again runs from Sunday through September second..

Coming up next