Extra Credit- Andy Warhol’s Impact on today’s Contemporary Art

Andy Warhol, in my opinion, has had such an impact on today’s Contemporary Art as well as in that of the generations leading up to it since the start of his artist lifestyle.  I feel that his art was one of the first major examples of controversial critique.  Many people during his time questioned if his reproduction art processes were actually considered his art.  In one such case, shortly after Marilyn Monroe died, he created an artwork in her memory.  “Marilyn Diptych” portrays a very important aspect of his art process in that it questions and draws attention to her true identity as a celebrity and as a person.  As for the identity of Marilyn portrayed by Warhol, it seems that he is taking away from it.  By copying the portrait again and again, it’s as if he is turning Marilyn as a person into a commodity to be bought.  The same image again and again, rather than different emotions or facial expressions, is taking away from the celebrity’s true identity.  In many of his pieces, he adapted the process of silk screen printmaking; this allowed him to create the initial idea and original piece and then either copy it numerous times, or even have other people copy works numerous times as a way to produce more to be sold.  This process also pertained to his ideas of commodities in society and mass production.  I like “Marilyn Diptych” and other artworks by Andy Warhol because of the different reactions they draw from people.  Some may think that it is repetitive, simple, and boring.  I don’t necessarily agree with that.  I feel like even though it may be repetitive and simple, it is still art in its own way.  I feel that it is an important aspect of the movement of pop culture.  I like how Marilyn is portrayed from her celebrity perspective.  The gray images on one side, I feel resemble her film stills while the bright images on the left side portray her personality.  I also like this artwork because it sort of serves as a tribute to her life as an actress.  Because she was an important figure in Andy Warhol’s life as a child, I can find deeper emotion and feeling behind it from the artist’s viewpoint.  I like that I can look at this image and know exactly who created it.

Once stated by Andy Warhol was the above quote underneath his picture, “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes even when the people in it do.”  I feel like this quote and many other words of Warhol truly show his personality.  His words also portray so many aspects of what we learned about art leading up today.  At one point we learned the different perspectives people had on photography.  The above quote, in my opinion, is a simple way to define the changes in art and photography all in one.  Photography went through phases of photo paintings seen as a documentary medium, starting points for painting, reliance of readymade, and other negative viewpoints.  It then progressed to perspectives of “Seeing is Believing” type attitudes and interpretations of reality.  Some people felt that photography was a step back from reality and others felt that it indeed was a close representation to the object being captured as we learned in lecture.  Throughout history and up to today, the photograph has changed in many ways in regards to the people taking them and the infinite subjects portrayed.  But I feel that with the above quote in mind, it can be interpreted in a way that says photography throughout history has remained photography; it hasn’t so much changed that it is not still a picture of a particular subject.  In my opinion, I feel that during the Pop Art Movement, Andy Warhol as an artist, set the tone for all artists then and today; he was the inspiration to create new forms of art for art’s sake and then letting the viewer decide if it was good or not.  In a way he gave artists confidence in trying new things.

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