At 10/8/10 08:15 AM, J-qb wrote:
At 10/8/10 05:23 AM, WaterShake wrote:
..However, when I told Schwarts about the techniques that Warhol used and the craftsmanship that went into his work he became slightly less dismissive. By the end of the conversation he even seemed willing to acknowledge that perhaps Warhol had made some valuable contributions to the film industry.This particular section strikes me as weird because you appear to value Warholl`s work for what it represents or for the reactions it provokes (and what it shows by doing so), but then you try to convince someone of the worth of his contributions by stressing the craftmanship and technique. That seems to me a dead contradiction.
I don't think it's a contradiction at all. The values would have to be conflicting for it to be a contradiction, they're not. I appreciate Warhol's work both for the technique and it's subject matter. Although I do find the subject matter more interesting.
However, in the conversation I had with Schwarts, we were talking solely about Warhol's film career. I'd already expressed my thoughts on the subject matter of Warhol's films and the value that I think they held, but Schwarts rejected any of this, claiming that they were superficial. Thus, I decided to approach the conversation from a different angle, and talked about Warhol's technique.
Furthermore, I find the techniques he used in film more interesting than those he used in print.
This print for instance, is basically a blow up of a dollar bill. Art critics of the time attacked the work, claiming it to be crass, clumsy and consumerist. I don't think it was any of those things.I think you misapprehend Warhol when you say the piece wasnt consumerist.
While he might very well have aimed to get exactly the reactions you describe, I also think you should acknowledge Warhol`s embrace of consumerism (or perhaps hedonism); requoting from that wiki you linked: "Everything's plastic, but I love plastic".
I think Warhol was more fixated with fame than fortune. He depicted famous objects we see in everyday life. I agree that Warhol's work and statements do seem to advocate consumerism on a basic level. But a dollar bill is a dollar bill is dollar bill.
Another interesting quote from Warhol's wiki:
"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"
I also think it's worht bearing in mind that Warhol was well known for "playing dumb" with media; in any conversation about Warhol. When questioned about his work he would say "it is what it is" or "yeah ok". I sometimes think that perhaps Warhol was more of a persona an actual person. After his death, immense and immersive accounts of his work were found within his personal journals. People were understandably confused, "why would he hide this from us?"
What I think you are doing is projecting your own thoughts/apprehensions of american society (in the 60s) not unlike "those silly oblivious americans".
I think it's relatively irrefutable that modern American culture is founded upon capitalism. The same is true for most developed nations now. Once money assumes power, it's hard to usurp. Americans are not unique in this respect, I don't think them "silly" or "oblivious". I talked about Americans because his work was most famous within America and I used the word "oblivious" because I think it adequately describes his critics of the time. Read into "Americans" as you will, I don't think the word has a negative value.
Personally, while I value his influence on modern art and design, I dont particularly enjoy his work. I see the worth of Warholl not so much in his single pieces, but more in the turn in the art world he was a part of (and very possibly caused), Warhol was a representation of the 60s spirit that disregarded the old "rules", and the fact that he worked with various media and had a central role in his community made him the perfect man to embody that spirit in the art world. The image we have today of modern art stems quite sharply from Warhol`s work. And indeed the circle of artists he gathered around him in the factory have ensured that his influence has spread to a great many artists, and is and will be of importance today and tomorrow.
I agree with this in-toto. I think the culture of Warhol was equally if not more so influential than his actual work. If Warhol's work were to be produced today, in the current art world. I don't think the impact would have been nearly as dramatic or controversial.