Reconsidering Warhol as an artist who mattered
It took me a while to find an article that came even close to representing the incredible emotion to be found in the Warhol/Supernova show in Chicago right now. (so many people project Warhol as a cynic)
If I didn't think I would have embarassed my boyfriend I would have got on my knees at the Tourqoise Marilyn. When we went through the show we went downstairs and then said, lets do it again!
It was wonderful to see the magazine clippings that Warhol had used to make the art work, some with notes about size and cropped to represent what the final image would include. There was the LIFE magazine photos of Jackie Kennedy. I know how it feels to find an image ina magzine or newspaper that resonates with you. I could imagine him looking at these and selecting them. they meant something to him.
The paintings are awesome pagan heartfelt. Mary Magdelene Marilyns and Virgin Mary Jackie Kennedy's to disasters and Cleopatra made me feel like it didn't matter what Warhol said as soundbites...and he said a lot. All kinds of quotes were on the walls and I suddenly saw them as satire as comedy, what a joker. The art brought tears to my eyes.
The images of disaster and of tragic strong women are Goddesses. Most of the greatest female characters in literature have been written by gay men. They understood what it felt like to be ina mans world. To desire or to be a lover and object of desire and emotion. I believe the women in Warhols paintings were women he related to. Not because they were damaged by celebrity, which they were or exposed. he felt their history, their journey and their position in society. He felt their pain and discrimination. Their role as a lover or icon. He projected himself into their stories: like everyone who has followed a tabloid saga. Although most of the pieces in thsi show are silk screens, a format of mass production and repetitiveness...these pictures also have paint stokes and are very sensual to the eye. Silver globs like royalty, feminine, film quality. They feel alive and organic and painterly. These are Warhols female family. these are Warhol himself. They are us as we watch the drama of celebrity stories. Bradegelina, terrorist tragededies, plane crashes, war victims, wounded soldiers, anorexia superstars, rejected lovers women at their rock bottom while being loved and crumpling before us with their weight of public attention. Mother figures. Ourselves. Drag queens are the ultimate homage to being a woman. These are Andy Warhols Mona Lisas.
These are paintings done by a lover.