Becoming Andy Warhol is being held at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing until Oct 10. IC
“In the future, everybody will be famous for 15 minutes,” said US artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987).
Though he’s been dead for 34 years, Warhol’s name is still known around the world.
To understand the pop artist better, an exhibition – Becoming Andy Warhol – is being held at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing until Oct 10. More than 300 works from Warhol’s career are on display.
Warhol is best known for his paintings that depict celebrity faces and US consumer goods, like the Coca-Cola bottle or Campbell’s soup can. According to CNN, the visual world Warhol created is directly connected to his background. In the mid-1950s, the working class gathered a great deal of fortune. They wanted to achieve a higher status in society. The consumer goods and Hollywood faces are a “working-class-coded iconography that is often misinterpreted as generally ‘American’,” Anthony E. Grudin, author of Warhol’s Working Class, told CNN.
“Reproducing these aspirational consumer products in his work meant that people outside of the art world could immediately connect with Warhol’s pictures,” noted CNN.
Considered “a creature of transformation”, Warhol constantly explored with different forms of media to evoke resonance among people, China Daily reported.
For example, in addition to being a painter, Warhol was, in the words of UK writer Peter Wollen: “A filmmaker, a writer, a photographer, a TV soap opera producer ... Warhol, in short, was what we might call a ‘Renaissance man’, even though he was a pop or perhaps post-modern Renaissance man.”
According to Schon Magazine, Warhol used to carry a 35mm Minolta camera with him everywhere he went, and shot photos on a daily basis. In his later years, he founded Interview Magazine and wrote several books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol.
But UK artist Gillian Wearing told The Guardian, “Warhol left his mark in many more ways than his actual work.”
Warhol’s works are all about “America, money, fame [and] death”, UK writer Jon Savage told The Guardian. “He summed up, defined and in many ways symbolized the world in which we now live.”