But reading about this made me think a bit more about Andy Warhol himself and my thoughts on him as an artist.
We all have seen his Campbell's Soup cans from 1961 and all the hype over his pop art explosion but was he this great ground breaking artist or just a fantastic salesman?
Warhol once said, "What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.
Warhol's painting of a can of Campbell's soup cost $1,500 while each autographed can sold for $6.
By the way, in 2009 His painting, "Eight Elvises" sold for $100 million, yes, $100,000,000. That is a lot of zeros.
The exhibit was one of the first that directly confronted the general public with both pop art and the question of what is art.
The more I research and read about Warhol the more I feel he just capitalized on what would sell. I agree that his original vision was something a bit unique, even though Monet had similar views in some of his work. But I think he was a product of his time and environment. The New York art scene in the 1960's was ripe for change and someone as eccentric and with the marketing savvy as Andy Warhol definitely was able to take a bite out of the Big Apple and the art world.
All of this was actually escalated in on June 3, 1968 with the assassination attempt by Valerie Solanas who was a member of The Factory art scene and founded a movement called Society for Cutting Up Men (S.C.U.M) Do you think she had issues? Supposedly, she gave a script she wrote to Warhol to look at in the hopes of making it into film with him, somehow the script was "misplaced".
With the assassination attempt, his sexuality and his knack for self promotion, Warhol was destined to be famous.
My question is this, was he a genius artist or just in the right place at the right time and mearly a decent illustrator with a bit of PT Barnum in him?
What are your thoughts?