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▼ Report: Warhol’s Empty Births


Although I have been interested in Warhol since I was a kid, I don’t think his success or the value of his ideas equal a justification for relishing in the media stream at the expense of the poetic or the human. I also think he lived in a different time – a time in which pop art was disruptive to the sleep of art.

Now, the opposite is true.

One problem now is collectors have total power and desire to shape the market, and what succeeds is their taste. Maybe ideas contained within art we (artists who resist commercialism) find compelling turns off most people with the kind of money required to become a serious collector today. We are back to the word ‘modern’, the word has new relevance, and we are back to Walter Benjamin’s analysis of the arcades in France, early 1900s: that art began to be sold as product, but not just any art, art that reflected bourgeoisie taste. For Benjamin, the modern artist offered resistance to commercial art.

Warhol has become the flavor art investment, losing whatever subversion he once created. Shallow misinterpretations of Warhol’s intent have become the defense of an industry that seeks to erase the differences between selling art and selling product.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/03/2010 3:15 pm

    YES! Shallow misinterpretations tend to weaken the pot of Warholian coffee …

  2. Taro Suzuki permalink
    03/03/2010 4:36 pm

    Agreed! I knew Andy too Damien.

  3. Jim VanKirk permalink
    03/07/2010 12:34 pm

    “Shallow misinterpretations…” I don’t think so Damien. I think rather that they know very well what his intent was. I think it’s a more aggressive and muscular statement that they’re making. They’re saying we know that the power of money is so strong that we can usurp and absorb any work regardless of it’s message or intent. Case in point the popularity of Warhol portraits of Mao or Che.

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