Friday, January 20, 2017

Andy Warhol's Imperfect Body

Dear Husband and I recently took advantage of Free Friday Nights at the Andy Warhol Museum. It was an eye-opening experience for me, as I honestly knew nothing about him except Campbell's soup cans and Marilyn Monroe in psychedelic colors. I learned that Andy Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, was gay, that he had had a nose job, and that he had been shot. I was particularly keen to see the My Perfect Body exhibit, which assembled a variety of Warhol's pieces this central object in art and subject in human experience. He loved the sensuality of the young, male body; was briefly fascinated by dead bodies; and had a fraught relationship with his own, aging body, which endured surgery both aesthetic and life-saving, and which he festooned with a variety of hair pieces. In two hours we barely made a dent in the large galleries of the museum, so here are just a few of my favorites among the artwork we were able to take in that evening.

Paint by Numbers
This painting reminds me of Maryland. If you look at nautical maps of the Chesapeake Bay, they have a similar pattern of lines and numbers indicating the water depth. Interestingly enough, this was the one piece of art in the entire museum that DH had photographed when he visited with my parents and aunt last summer while I was working and they were touristing in the city.

Hand and Foot
This collage combines one of my favorite mediums (collage) with one of my favorite subjects (anatomy/the human body). It reminds me of those phrenology heads that were so popular in the 19th century.

Enlarged off the internet for your viewing ability:

Finally, a Campbell's soup can. No, not one of the bright ones in red and white. I really like the texture of the tin can underneath the torn paper wrapping in this one.

Editor's note: If you enjoyed this vicarious museum visit, you might also like to see modern art in New York City; contemporary local art in Kerrville, TX; or glass art and miniatures in Chicago.

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