Warhol (part one)
Yeah. East coast to you in this OC with Bonhams auctioneers since seventeen ninety three with expertise in more than sixty categories of collecting, it specialists will connect you with your passion. Find what defines you at Bonhams dot com. Hello and welcome to the newspaper puck cost. I'm Ben, Luke. We're doing things differently this week with to poke us all about Andy Warhol one today and the next in a few days time, the occasion is the vast respective of Warhol's work opening on the twelfth of November the Whitney museum of American art in New York. The Whitney's pulling out all the stops. The show includes three hundred fifty works. Tracking development from the late nineteen forties to his death in one thousand nine hundred seven it also has some intriguing you arguments to make this first book cost is all about that show taking a comprehensive Warhol's life work senior editor Nancy Kenny went to the Whitney to talk to Donna desalvo. The museum's deputy director and senior curator who organized the exhibition. In a catalog essay for the exhibition. You write that you met with Warhol in the eighties. When you were curator the DR foundation. I'd love to hear about those interactions. Sure. Well, you know, when I met Warhol in eighty five eighty six a little fuzzy myself about the time that I believe it was late eighty five early eighty six it was during a time when I was taking forward to exhibitions from the museum's collection and had this incredible retrospective collection of Warhol's work. And so really that's sort of was the framework if you will the context for it all and at first he was not very forthcoming. There was an exhibition of the disaster paintings that organized, and he was not really that involved. But then I had this idea to do something that really examined his pre silkscreen work that work had made from sixty to sixty two and when I reached out to him. He was very intrigued by the idea. Quite interested in it. And it, you know, it was at a time when he himself was revisiting hand painting in his collaborations with boss Kiat and Keith haring. I found him very open shy interested artists, and course, when you're young Curators sort of overwhelmed by the mythic status of someone such as Warhol. So I was you know in my own for me. I was a bit. Taken aback about how to approach him. But then the conversations became really quite straightforward and very very forthcoming with information. I asked him a lot about the period of time. He had worked in the fifties. In particular are interested in that. And then, you know, how it was that he came to make these decisions between the more gesture obstruction and the move toward, you know, something that really appeared printed. Did you stay in touch with them until his death in eighty seven? I did. And you know, I was very interested in once the show opened of the hand painted work. You know, we started having some conversations it was quite interested in the work that he'd done in the fifties. He was somewhat reluctant about the idea of doing an exhibition such as that. But I went up to the factory and thirty third street and had some conversations with him and Vince Fremont at the time because they were working on Andy Warhol's TV. And you know, they had asked me. Well, maybe you have some ideas or wanna be involved close. All this was the as an unpaid into internal volunteer. But yeah, we did continue and I spoke to him maybe a couple of weeks prior to his death. So it was a, you know, like most people in New York, you know, when the news came it was a shock, and you know, I felt very sad. Because it he, you know, well like with any individual. I mean, he, you know, was it was an early death for him. And also because I felt we had started to involve this evolve. This kind of really fantastic conversation that was, you know, absolutely interested in him as an artist not as some mythic figure nod as some party person, you know, my interests were very genuine and very much about his art and the process of of of how he his ideas of. And I think, you know, that's that's the sad part of it for me that was a loss to not be able to continue that conversation and also not to see where his work would have gone had. He lived the last Warhol retrospective organized by an American Museum was at the museum of modern art in nineteen Eighty-nine just two years after his death. That's almost three decades ago. What new perspectives have you gained since? Then sure. I mean, it's it's sort of amazing to imagine that you know, it's been that long since US institution took on a major retrospective of Warhol. I think in many ways that. That you know, there's an entirely new generation many of them were not even born in nineteen eighty nine. So you know, I think that there's a generation that's been grappling with both rethinking painting. What painting can be engagements with abstraction? But also, I think a fluidity or a comfort zone with looking and working with new technologies media driven things digital technologies. So that's something. That's really struck me immensely in all these years later is to see a new generation for whom were hall makes total sense. And it made me see I really felt that Warhol was very ahead of his times. And that they're the perception of his work in the sixties. Of course, you know, was for the most part he had his detractors and still does. But for the most part, it was an incredibly radical move to make silkscreen to us to make a painting. But you know. In the seventies and eighties. Warhol's work wasn't quite as popular. And I think that, you know, his use of technology, photography ideas, about image making, and of course, in an age of Instagram, and so many other social media platforms. You know, Warhol's famous statement, you know, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes, which is probably not fifteen seconds rings, incredibly true. So on some level. I'm particularly interested in a generation of artists that came a couple of decades several decades after Warhol and anew audience of people who will be coming to or holes work in many ways in many instances. I think not necessarily for the first time, but to see this level of depth in the work will be for many people. I hope an eye opening experience just the show cast the nineteen sixties as his biggest moment. No. It really, you know, felt very it was very important to really look through at the trajectory of Warhol's worked to consider his career as a whole. And I think there's been so much attention paid to the sixties both, you know, in critic, particularly at a critical level and the later work suffered a bit. And it's there are those people and critics, and and Norma scholarship after world died, of course, when he died in eighty seven and a lot of work also came out that you know, had not been shown his lifetime. Really changed perceptions. I think about Warhol worlds a game man, especially the early worker the fifties where you see an aspect of Warhol that you isn't as evident in the later work. But I think that seventies and eighties period was misunderstood. It. Didn't really look even though the technique had similarities with sixties the subject matter was completely different. Yes. Hammer and sick. Coll- which you know, he was inspired by graffiti going to Italy during the time of the red guard. But then here's an order to make skull paintings. Or paintings of shadows. This subject matter is quite distinct from the more, quote, unquote, conic imagery of the sixties. So what I've tried to do which I think you do at any ortis case is to really show, how those ideas have evolved over time. And I would say if almost half maybe slightly half the exhibition is also devoted to the work that he made post nineteen sixties, let's dive into his early career and nineteen forty nine more than a decade before the Campbell Soup cans or the mouth or the Maryland images were also with Warhol started out as an illustrator and commercial advertising, and he became quite a successful one. How did that influence his later work? Well, what are the arguments of the exhibition is that that fifties period was Finnan Dacian for Warhol because to a large extent. He was already a talent an extraordinary draftsman. And I think that in coming to New York he didn't set out to be a commercial artists. He came with his college friend, Philip perlstein, and they were roommates together. And you know, they were wanting to be artists, but they had to support themselves Warhol very readily God job at glamour magazine, because he had this great proficiency at drawing, I think that throughout the fifties. What he was able to do was to also see very firsthand the mechanics of visual communication. How images are put together. How desire is created in a product. Whether it's a shoe, you know, or pharmaceutical, and so to be part of that and to see and work with art directors. You know, many extremely sophisticated and really well trained themselves some in the bow house, you know, he had a hand for front row. Oh seat and engagement with that process. As what you how you work with an art director, how the art director transmits their idea of how it needs to change. And also he had this. He was immersed in the technology of the period. Technologists the periods such as Photostats machines, -opay projectors all the things that you use in to create these images that are fundamentally their final, you know, the final their final location is in print so he's working in a world in which print and particularly increasingly more photography is the language of popular culture. Even after Warhol won renown in the art world. He insisted that he was a commercial artist. Was that Tanya cheek? I think it was tongue in cheek. You know, I think it's important to remember that Warhol is, you know, formative years for Warhol coming to New York when you know, New York school painting was still extremely, you know, influential, and I think that part of Warhol's project if you will was to skewer or subvert the idea of the artists the romantic figure, and you know, when you consider someone such as Warhol against the backdrop of artists, you know, such and Mark Rothko born at Newman, you know, he really was doing something that was very straightforward. Some would say crass, vulgar. But I think that he had this awareness of how you know, you certain that there is a commercial side to being an artist. That you sell your work. Now, you know, he's been criticized for that. Because he's so, you know, that that portion of things that activity, you know, has been so emphasized, and you know, there were many people who felt that he was a out you know, that he was a con artist. But I think that there was something about Warhol's understanding as this working class kid from Pittsburgh about a certain reality of paying the bills. And you know, I think he found a way to make it part of his art form both in terms of the works themselves. But also a performance because I think there's a lot of Warhol in his way that is, you know, a mask go way of presenting himself to the world, and it's a little almost like when you think about in the fifties him working for certain magazines, where they had to create an aura of mystery about a product. You don't want to say too much because you want to create that desire, and I think he was playing with a. Very much. So, but I think he also wanted to make money and loved making money and was deeply deeply ambitious workaholic to you. Right. That early in his career. He seems to have run into censorship. When he tried to show an art galleries. What were they objecting to? Well, you know, it was many of his early paintings on were the subject matter. You know, would was mostly figured too. Although that he would use different patterns to obscure the image where he would mimic the brush strokes of, you know, some I argue some restaurants like Reinhard or Adolph Gottlieb. He there's a particular incident that led me to that conclusion. And it's really one that was recounted to me by Philip perlstein. Warhol had made a series of paintings in round the late fifties that he asks perlstein to take to the tanger- gallery which was a cooperative gallery. Many of the app. X painters were involved the subject was of two boys kissing. And of course, they took. He dutifully took it to the gallery, and they laughed. So it wasn't. I don't know censorship's the right word, but it certainly was not at all in sync with the kind of subject matter at that time. That's not to say there weren't artists such as Larry rivers in particular who wore hall credits as an influence who were playing with that kind of figurative subject matter. And also that had this, you know, kind of coded campy coy aspect to it. But it it was not what they were gonna show at those galleries back, then the art will was dominated by macho abstract expressionist, wasn't it. Absolutely. I mean, you know, I it's the women the great women of that period from grace, Oregon, and, you know, Joan Mitchell are, you know, GOP there do but much later on in a lot of ways. So yes, it was very male male defined. Although a number of women who were working at that time. And you know, you have early John. In Ralston Berg working at that time. So, you know, Warhol's part of a group of artists who for whom that subject matter would would not have appealed or that bravura, you know, was just out of sync, and he's also younger he's a younger generation. So it's extremely difficult time. And but he keeps you know as persistent in making his work like any any driven artist this show has examples of his early handpainted work. There's the Coca Cola bottle, for example, which he apparently painted in a drippy at Texas specialist style. But he also painted it in a way that resembles a commercially printed image. Now, I mean, this is really seen as kind of breakthrough moment for him because much of the work that he was making you know, and many the other artists, by the way, we looked sign James Rosenquist many artists who were still in that late fifties period. You know, we're making we're interested in subject matter. But still feeling that they had. To insult away tip their hat, abstract expressionism. So wore homemade two versions of the painting, and one was a giant coke bottle that had drips on it and a invited very famous story invited for friends Irving, Blum, Ivan Karp, a Tonio and Henry godsall or to look at the painting. And he wanted to see what they thought about leaving behind the drips, essentially, and and then what about the other image, which really appeared printed and very mechanical, and there's very little trace of the orders fan, and they all preferred the tighter version, but I find it fascinating that you know, he he none the less needed that. You know, I've always said now that Warhol's way of asking everyone's opinion would probably be called maybe a degree of crowd sourcing today. But he was very smart to get you know, these are four extrordinary people that he's asking who are very knowledgeable and very much tapped into what was going on in contemporary. Art at the time. So, you know, he wanted their opinion. And thank thankfully, you know, one often conjectures what might have happened. If they'd said prefer the drippy version, maybe world still would have gone forward with the other. Then sixty two you see him shifting to a mechanical silkscreen technique was that kind of breakthrough. Well, I think there's a Evelyn. And that's why I think the fifties is so important because he's already very much engaged with using techniques of reproduction to the constructors images. He goes from you know, he used carved Gumma racers. Then he moves to stencils. And so eventually, and there's a famous always often describe with is very earliest technique was this blog at line where he would blow it on one. So he would draw one side of the piece of paper in ink blot it with the other analogous to a monotype, and it would create this kind of quirky line that looked very much like Ben, Sean who was very pop. Amongst commercial amongst art directors at the time, but it also allowed him to make copies of it. And even had a couple of assistances early early fifty. So in some ways, the move to the silkscreen is seems inevitable. What's differentiates it from that earlier time was the the insertion or the use of the photograph? Because now you're moving from a something he draws himself. And there are some silk screens that were based on drawings. But to use the silkscreen photo the photo soak screen to make painting is this really when form and content come together. So he's using the very technique through which these images are disseminated in the world to make the painting, and that's the radical shift. That's the paradigm. Well, you also have the paintings he made by borrowing from journalistic photography. He depicts accidents like car crashes, for example in his death and disaster series. And then you have the. Electric chairs the race riots and the Jacqueline Kennedy in morning. What was that has nation with all that was he obsessed with death? Well, you know, I think there's often I mean, I think we're all obsessed with it one way or another. So but so is journalism. I mean, you know, the spectacle of violence, and you know, that's a moment of look magazine life magazine. So it's a very different era than we live in today where you have multiple sources multiple places to go for news. But you know, I think there is that awareness of you know, when we see accidents. And I you know, I I'll admit to it. You know, you're on the road. You see the accident you're compelled to look so I do think that he was tapping into something that had to do with, you know, this compulsion that we have to look almost the kind of disbelief to also see something so horrific at the time he talks about because he was going to do is show in Paris. And he says, I think. Call a death in America. So there's a lot of different. You know, this is where you know, the literature and Warhol's own statements and other people's recounting the moment could leave you a little bit, you know, your head spinning. But he does say something about in round December that, you know, this is a time when people will be on the road, and it is true that just prior to any holiday, we do get this something from the radio or TV, and we're anticipating, you know, a number of accidents over the holiday period. So I think that you know, he picked up on that. And I think there's something more there. And that's why I think that's such an extraordinary series because there is something, you know, you're going from the celebrities of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley and Troy Donahue, Natalie wood. And now, you move into people who are non Mus and their their celebrity if one wants to call at that comes about, you know, through a tragic accident or in the case of. Of the you know, the mustard race ride as cold it. You know, the civil rights protests in Birmingham. So, you know, it's it's a vulnerability of one of also when people are threatened in that way, and there's one in particular cold suicide full in body. That depicts the tragic death of a woman who jumps off the impera state-building, and she is nestled in the top of car that she falls into and doesn't look dead. And it's it's probably the most I believe one of the most haunting because it's it's a very vulnerable something about the framing of the image. All of course, taken by photojournalist, these were newswire photographs some of them were never printed because they were too grotesque others made it into newspaper and the one I just described of the suicide was printed twice in life magazine. So I think they speak to an America. Also that is one that we're violence is a huge. Part of our history where my own interpretation, you know, are we in some ways punished for consuming? There's one tuna fish disaster of two women who both are tragically die as a result of poison tuna fish. So it's it's a very maybe the flip side of, you know, a certain kind of postwar optimism, and I believe they remained some of his most searing paintings. And of course, the electric chair, which is just, you know, a startling image to see. And of course, Warhol makes the one in the show is a lavender disaster painting. So in a sense, the absurdity, the irony and the horrific nature, and maybe even our disregard, or are, you know, the way in which you can look at an image. And is it what is it really about? When you see this loan electric chair from sing sing prison, and the recognition that this is a means of capital punishment, and then it's maybe youthful. Lavender it. It really sets up inevitable, you know, incredible contradiction in what you're looking at. So do you see these works as having a political thrust? I do I mean, I think that that is a subtext in many of hall's works. Not all some would dispute that there's a lot of debate especially in the critical community about was Warhol political. And what he was doing. You could read just about any work of art and a political way. I think that they are. I think that that the, but there I think that's evident even in his pictures of soup cans, you know, I think that there's a certain kind of confirmation of obsessions desires and at the same time, it's putting it in our face. So there's a duality. And I think that we're all I've always felt he picked up on what I've seen is the twin contradictions of of the American psyche, which is the desire for innovation. But also for conformity later and sixty eight Warhol has been badly wounded in a shooting assassination temporarily the shooter is Valerie Salata and occasional actor in his films. What impact that has on his career? It's a very good question. Because I think that many people feel that after sixty eight you know, he, of course, it was he was horrifically injured. And nearly died was brought back to life on the operating table and carry those scars with him throughout but in the exhibition, we have a section devoted to a lot of the experiments that he was doing during that period. So rather than to see it, which some have, you know, seen it as the end of his great period of innovation of the sixties. I think it's a bit of a marker of the next kinds of experiments that said, I you know, I. I know that there were massive changes at the factory bulletproof door that was installed. It was no longer. Anyone could just show up, and you know, Warhol's enterprises probably came became more like a business very different than the sixties model. And so the production itself is sounds more organized. I wasn't there. So, you know, but everything that I'm aware of and people have spoken to who. Of course have worked with Warhol during that period. You know, there was the interview magazine is launched many many commissions, come Warhol's way. But then immediately, you know, couple of just a few years later in nineteen seventy-two. He makes his starts his mouth series. So it's really the beginning of another period of intense work, and and and pushing the envelope of painting. We'll be back with more from don't vote after this. It makes the prize people to learn that George Seagal was in fact, a pup office while pay us up just we'll Liechtenstein infants by coke to mass consumerism secrets the human condition by correcting costs of ordinary people going about that everyday lives sequel first rose to prominence in the nineteen sixties pioneering life-sized plus costs of figures, which she would create by wrapping models employee. Bandages an innovative use of an everyday medium that was unprecedented in history in the nineteen seventies. He began to Coasties Brahms. And then painting them uniformly white one of the very first of these groundbreaking PC's a life size. What the dances is the highlight of postwar and contemporary also in usual on the fourteenth of November. The largest and most impressive by C woke as Jack lean tos. Perkins of the postwar and contemporary department says is defining work of Korea and Tokyo century sculpture to find out more visit bombs dot com. Welcome back. We pick up where we left off with Donna disolve focusing on. We'll host work after his near death experience when he was shot in nineteen sixty eight we'll about his films trade commissions, and he's still lives. He's prefiguring of social media. He's appropriations of Leonardo's last supper and the Catholicism underpin interest in that work. We'll also hear about his relationship with Donald Trump. But we begin with the factory. The epicenter cool. A hang out place for Warhol's assault of debauchery and extravagance which celebrities from Jaga to eighty Cedric would poss- through. But it was also a creative engine. So Nancy kinda Yellowstone disavow how in vote was we'll in everyday production that. Well, I mean, of course, it's a place where he made his paintings. So he was silk screening there and a lot of the films are made at the factory shot actually within the factory. So you know, I think that he was a presence there. And and he was kind of director in terms of attracting people I think a lot of people came to him. And then letting people do their thing, you know. So in a sense, I thought he was a bit of the art director at that time, you know, he had raw material and all of these different characters who are my you know, who were attracted to him. And, but it's it's a film set in a lot of ways it's both painting studio and film set. And, you know, I'm, you know, clearly the site for a lot of acting out and a lot of drug taking, and you know, craziness, you know, I it's it's one of the points in the exhibition is there's a group. There's a section. Devoted to group of drawings from about an fashion photographer. Name auto fen that Warhol gravitated to in the early fifties. And he had a kind of cell on of sorts which was largely gay men, and they would dress up and wear Warhol did a series of caricatures. So I've lichen that in some ways to kind of first factory because if you see the factory you could see it as a sell on factory was a great phrase for it. Because again, it's so contrary to the idea of the artist alone in their studio, it's this industrial production. But it is also a kind of really amazing, Sal on that attracted, many, creative individuals themselves who wanted to be were actors wanted to be actors writers, you know, movie stars that came that saw Warhol out. And you know, the epicenter of a kind of in, you know, incredible. It's social phenomena. I understand that the Whitney has a special connection to Warhol's films. But she started making sixty three right? Yes. From sixty three to sixty eight he made something like six hundred fifty films. It's it's it's mind boggling, actually, and is so number of years ago. John hand hard who was in the curator of film and video at the Whitney started to had conversations with Warhol about his films and preserving his films, and that really gave birth to the war to the Whitney's catalogue resume project, and my lake colleague Kelly angel who is the author of the first cuddle aggressively a of the films, which just focus on the screen tests worked with the museum of modern art who houses the actual films and the war home when it when it came into existence to really begin the process of looking not only the films, you know, that were shown, but in numbers numbers of reels of material that had never been seen. Gene. And they have dutifully gone through the bulk of it and looked at it and noted the language in it who was in it. And this is an incredible piece of scholarship because unlike looking at a painting, which you know, one devotes a certain degree of time, but you know, with time based media one can only imagine. So that's been a long standing project of the Whitney and the exhibition will include both in the show itself will be showing number of films as on sixteen millimeter projection, and also my colleague clear Henry has put together film program that will be on view be available throughout the run of the exhibition because it's an enormous and very fascinating part of Warhol's output. Given the personalities we meet in the foams D C the films as kind of portraiture, I do I think that that, you know, if you think of the screen tests alone, you know, they are portrait's, but they're portrait's that allow for something else. Because they're filmed and because of the element of time world's interested import interest in poetry poetry. Of course is evident through the fifties. Where he has his sketching a lot of men. He's sketching other people. He's a great social observer. And so the films, of course, allow for both a much more psychological penetration of the subject by having them. Sit very still in in front of a stationary camera. But also to pursue, you know, many ideas about how far you could push film. How harsh you could push the medium itself, you know, whether with Warhol running them at a faster speed allowing some things the Strobe cut different things that when the film can't when you run out of tape is evident that most people edit out, and he's part of that, you know, avant garde film community Jonas meek is since. Stan vanderbeek. I mean, a lot of other filmmakers who are experimenting in this way. I. It's the the the just the sheer number of films that were hall made that is, you know, really mind boggling and just again evidence of his voracious appetite as a visual artist to play out ideas in the seventies. Then we see him doing commission portrait's for jet-set society, socialites and movie people and industrialists did world need those commissions financially. Or was partly a way of staying in the limelight. Probably a bit of both. But I think he I think he, you know, in a sense he sort of was playing with the very convention of how that kind of poetry is existed. Whether you know, it was in the era of Velazquez, and, you know, the an artist is commissioned to do a Royal portrait, or, you know, up to Johnston or sorted or Robert Henry, I, you know, those artists were equally working in a similar way and often times they were sought out by. Celebrity's social socialites I don't celebrities of is a more twentieth century term, but you know, certainly wealthy individuals socialites philanthropists. So I think that for Warhol, you know, want us to remember that a lot of the work that he made in the seventies in the eighties. It was not commercially successful. So he was supporting the enterprise there through those portrait commissions, and they start out even in the sixties Ethel scull portrait that's in the exhibition. There's an incredible portrait of a insurance executive in the midwest that'll be in the show, and he's interested in portraiture throughout the idea, then of the commission portrait really just takes over. And you know, people I think it's like with any, you know, any well-known artists to have your portrait painted by a certain well-known figure is conveys its own sort of status symbol, and we have a huge group of the portrait's in the exhibition. That'll be in the lobby. Gallery the museum, and they range because some of them are more endearing. There's a great portrait of his mother. Julia of his of his early dealers Ileana sauna bend artists that he trade at work for and then, you know, right up through Dolly Parton and the Shah of Iran and his wife and her sister. And I do think there's a qualitative difference between the portrait's where he my argument is you can see a bit of difference between the portrait's where he knew someone where there was an actual connection and those where he's just brilliant at having figured out a system that allowed him to make them very quickly and get paid for them. And sometimes people didn't want them. They probably regret it that years later that grid of portrait's on the lobby walls has kind of an Instagram affect doesn't it. Well, I think it's an early Facebook. Because if you think about it this desire that you know, we have to. Feel recognized to feel like is very much a part of our culture, and I've seen this as a as as somewhat of a Facebook of its era, obviously, it's not comprehensive, but one of my colleagues Mark Lakhan a- who's done a lot of work mapping, the portrait's. And really who how they came about who, you know, who was the context sometimes it was Warhol's. Sometimes it was a dealer sometimes it was a friend. You know, you see this incredible network of how these individuals or even linked back to Warhol. So in some way, Warhol's always at the center of it all, but it is in many ways, it's it's a Facebook. It's it's about being like it's about how you can have agency to make yourself into a star you now we can do that in a way that I don't think it would have been unimaginable actually was not possible in Warhol's era. I mean now, you can create your own you know, you can. Become famous for just putting your images on on Instagram. It's it's it's a there's a good in a bed of of that desire to feel that the only way that you exist is to be liked in the concept of that like or dislike or that you, you know, absolutely desire need to record every aspect of your life and Warhol was doing that. And he proficuous innocence. What has happened in our culture will imagine you'll of hundreds of museum visitors taking selfish and the galleries? I absolutely. I mean, I, you know, that's there's no rule against anyone doing that. The one thing. I absolutely hope is that people really look at the art because the only reason we're doing this exhibition, and I am doing this exhibition is to really show. How extraordinary an artist Warhol was how influential he wasn't how he opened up. Certain avenues for generations that came after the show. Also includes a sampling of still lifes from the seventies, doesn't it? Yes. It does. What what is this repeated use of a skull and a hammer and sickle? Well, the hammer and sickle comes about. You know in that early seventies moment world returns to something. He was already doing in the fifties, which creates still lives, very conventional John refer an artist. And in fact, in the fifties worked with his this friend every wall, which and they would light them, and we're whole withdraw them. It sort of starts actually from a promotional moment. He wore whole produces writes writes this book Andy Warhol from a to b and back again from which are title comes in nineteen seventy five he had this idea to make a promotional photograph for his book, and he sets up still life with different objects one of which is the book and from that it sparks an interest on his part with this format. So the hammer and sickle comes about. Because he's going to Italy. He's doing a commission for ladies and gentlemen series. And he sees a lot of graffiti of hammer and sickle in Italy at that time with the red guard and the politics of the moment, and he he has his idea to, you know, set up a hammer and sickle, and it's the lighting of it that this very intense lighting that is allows him to play with a lot of different pictorial ideas different combinations. And the shadow becomes as much a part of the subject of the work as the actual object in he's in Paris. And he he picks up a skull, which is a very traditional motif for an artist scholars memento Mori. You know, he's think about Saisons late skulls skulls. He made it his late work, and he starts to experiment with that. They're very they're lit in such a way that the shadow is very evident shadow so much has been made about the skull, and you know, Warhol's zone, you know. You know obsession with death. And you know, I think that when you look at it within the history of art because Warhol always keeps his foot in one in two worlds. One in the world of popular commercial culture, and one of the world of art history of art, and the fact that that skull, you know, the idea of the skull. I mean, my gosh, look at you know, if you've ever gone Viana to the crypts of the Habsburgs, they're filled with cards skulls. So the symbolism of the skull throughout history is is you know, actually, really a major one. And it's also I think it's either he or someone who has said, you know, it is a it's a portrait of everyone. So in a sense, if you think about you can think about the skull as being a unit kind of universal portrait. So but that sets him off also to exploring the shadow in his work. And of course, then the great epoch series that he makes that the DEA foundation owns of colts shadows a hundred and two. The painting. One hundred two parts is is you know, one of his most dramatic and most overtly abstract works in extrordinary tour to force that will be parts of will be on view here in New York. Sponsored by by DEA. In the nineteen eighties. Then you see some art historical appropriations, don't you? I mean like the last supper paintings. Yes, he just goes through period of time where he he looks at Deke Rico. I'd Vard monk. The scream he goes through sort of the renaissance. He's interested in renaissance paintings. I think one of the most complex topics he takes on his. Leonardo's last supper, and he was doing them in his studio and his one of his old time dealers. Alexandrio lists K came to the studio saw them and had this idea that we're would present these paintings very near to the Leonardo's original. And we have an extraordinary painting in the show that combines camouflage with the last supper image. And you know, the two I think it's a it's a very alluring very mysterious painting functions on many, many different levels. Of course, the, you know, became known after his death that he was a Catholic in very devout Catholic. But to quote, also in the Ardo painting, which you'd already done with his Mona Lisa painting in nineteen sixty three. You know, this is where Warhol looks at also pay. Painting that itself entered into popular culture. So, you know, he works from really cheap maquette s-, or, you know, little plaster inches of the last supper, or there's some prints that he uses so this is a work of art. Like the Mona Lisa that, you know, cross Dover. Let's say from the walls of the Louvre an into the just the the world of pop culture, commercial culture. And so his choices. I think that's the most successful of them. He did do other works of art by other artists. But I think this is the one that where he's able to do something with the image connects with it and the ones we had the one we have also conflicts camouflage with it as well with the less upper. Yes, it came as a surprise to me to read that he was actually a observant Catholic. Did he go to mass apparently? And apparently, he was you know, served soup. It went soup kitchen. Of course, he grows up in a Byzantine Catholic family. In pittsburgh. And so that is his background. But it, you know, it was not something I was aware of and not something I focused on. But again, I think this is information that what became if not more available people focused on it more posthumously. So, you know, his Morial service, which I did go to is that Saint Patrick's cathedral, and you know, it was a star studded a group there and the statement was made by John Richardson, and his eulogy, you know, talking about Warhol and church that he would go and serve soup at. And you know, you sort of really is. I mean, those close to him would know this. I wasn't an intimate. But, but I think it just reveals also, you know, him as a human being, and it's so difficult because Warhol created this myth around himself that in many ways, I think obscured his work as an artist and also his, you know, love of the commercial love of money. Many of these things I think prevented people from in some way, seeing the real talent in his work. And you know, we we have difficulty in some ways, we expect artists to have to live a certain kind of life for to be a certain kind of way. I don't think that's so much less the case in the last few decades. But his I think the Catholicism to me is also very important in terms of his understanding of the icon. So, you know, growing up in a religion where I cons. We're gold is used in such way such a way, you know, he he was very aware of of how of the power of the image. You know, both in terms of confirming belief, but also almost as a kind of tool of propaganda if you will. So the the idea of believing in what you're seeing what is it that you believe when you see when you look at an image. And particularly if it's something that exists in the world. And it's a brand, you know, all of those things play into it. And I I really believe fundamentally that what Warhol's whole project comes to and the shadows. And particularly make clear is the allusion that we're looking at something that isn't illusion. And it our mine wants to believe it's the real thing. Whether it's the coke bottle, or you know, even the Leonardo painting at the time the Leonardo last supper there was tremendous debate about restoring it because what we're looking at. Of course is not as it had appeared when Davinci made it was done on a fresco it had peeled from the wall. There were debates should be left as it is. And Warhol even says he preferred it in his in its deteriorated state. So this whole idea of what a work of art is but also beyond because I think because he has he moves over. He's able to somehow bring together the world of. Popular culture in the world of art history in the world of art that somehow it's not just the we're looking at a painting. But we're looking at a painting about something an object, a brand that's trying to get us to believe something to buy it. So it's a very complicated enterprise within it. Now, we're whole obviously long to be a legend. Didn't he time after time he reproduced his own image itself portrait's, but they're still something a little mysterious about him kind of self concealment through your work on the show. Have you do you feel that you've gotten to understand and know him? Well, I could never say that I know him in that sense. But I think that you know, you see as an individual. I think that many there was a sort of hidden part to how he lived his life. Clearly, we're just talking about is Catholicism, you know, other things that were not commonly known. So there. There was a a distance, you know, whether it was being an insider and outsider because I think he was that to a certain extent, you know, it's like a way you're on the street in off the street. But I also think that, you know, there was an air of mystery that he purposely created around himself. You know, he begins using his own self portrait's year round sixty four and makes himself subject. But of course, the self portrait is not a new idea and the history of art. But eventually also he does become a brand in the eighties. He appears TV commercials appears in print commercials for various projects products, mostly outside of the US does one for Japanese commercial for Japanese television. So it's the level of product endorsement in the days the old days where you know, Joan Crawford sold Pepsi-Cola. So that's not a new thing. We still have you know, Matthew, mcconaughey, I think's Ellen cars. And so it's. Not a kind of, you know, new idea. But, you know, the the issue of, you know, the late self portrait's that he makes which of course, with fright wig where you know, there's a mysterious figure there, and I think most really good artists. Often say little about themselves. So I think for all that Warhol said in the diaries and all the, you know, and he's out there more than any other artists. I can imagine to some extent, you know, Skar wild certainly with someone who put out a lot of information about himself. So he's a little bit in that, you know, in that vein, but could ever know everything? And I think that's the same thing with his works of art that when they comes down to it. They remain mysterious as any great work of art. I think does I've always believed that this test of great work of art. Is that no matter how do you? How many times you go back to it? You can't completely figure it out. And I think that's the case with Warhol. We'll apparently met Donald Trump in several times. And he writes about Trump and Trump's first wife vonda in his diaries. I also see that Trump is quoted Warhol in a couple of his books. How do you think your show connects with this Trumpian moment we're in? Well, absolutely. You know, Warhol did have exchanges with Donald Trump. Of course, they were both on the scene in New York and Trump had asked him to make a painting of one of his buildings. I think it was Trump Tower and Warhol did it and then Trump rejected it because he said that the color combo didn't hidden like the color combo. And I think we're Warhol quotes in his diaries that you know, he felt Donald Trump was really cheap. So. You know, I think it's a great question because I do think that because Warhol's work is so a dented with the United States, and because the subject matter is absolutely drawn from for the most part, the US that it's an interesting moment to look at what is being projected in that work, and that optimism of the sixties in the postwar era, and a very different kind of America and America on the on the, you know, as the savior of the world, you know, the Marshall plan. I mean, we're in a very different place then than we are now. So I think it's very interesting to look at that. And to compare these two times when we're in an extremely different different situation. Both domestically and globally. You know? I think the other thing is to you know, think about the way Warhol creates these fictions through his films of the sixties, and the, you know. No, the inevitable rise culturally. And this is not something. I would say was something Warhol can be you know, said he did that he that he created. But you know, we live in an age of celebrity culture of reality TV. And so it's quite interesting to think of that, you know, cinema verite that started to happen in a lot of Warhol's films. Where you see it as you see it. There's no script it's an acting out. And then there was that famous program the loud family, I think in nineteen seventy where they track the family, California family with cameras in the home, and you know, all manner of things divorces son coming out gay. They all come out before camera and on camera. And you know, it's not you know, to go from that to our reality. TV obsessed culture, which has been the case now for at least ten years, or so is is you know, it's a very frightening idea because it starts to raise this question of what is true. True. What are we looking at what can be manufactured? And so, you know, I think it's a very interesting moment to look at Warhol in particular because you know, when you plan an exhibition, you never know what was going to world is going to be. And I think many of us didn't expect we would be where we are now. So I'm very interested to see there may be some who see Warhol as the Cho's of audit. People who've said that to me, I don't think anyone ortis could claim such a power in the world. But I think that he like most artists into separate something and has that on ten I, and I do think that there's something within Warhol's work, which has a dark side. And and also, you know, says something about aspects of the United States are love capitalism. Our love of consumerism, you know, we'll we are as a society of consumers were in a very sad place. So and you could be consuming kinds of things have to be products. It can also be. You know information that's fed to us. So it's it's a very potent time. I think to raise many of these issues, and I hope that some of this, you know, comes into the conversation in terms of the exhibition, you, you know, you want a work of either the work remains extremely relevant. And now we'll test out. What that relevance really means? Thank you for joining us, Donna, my pleasure. Thank you. Andy will from eight to be and back again is Whitney museum New York from the twelfth November until the thirty first of March next year, the shadow paintings DEA that don't salvo referred to will be one of the topics we discussed it the next will hope coast, which will be here from Tuesday to November. And we'll also the Jeremy della about meeting, we'll and injuring relevance. You can join us. Then if you haven't already please subscribe to the puck cost, and if you're on Twitter, follow us at ten old at TI Odio, you photo a main Twitter account 'em Facebook at the newspaper, an Instagram is the newspaper until sufficient for the moment. Thanks, Nancy, Kenny, especially to to salvo and thanks to you for listening. Z podcast is brought to you in association with find defines you Bonhams dot com.