Sunday, 31 March 2013

# 65

"If you are Warholian you see your surroundings and use them to inspire you to make your art." --- Stefan Sagmeister, Thank You Andy Warhol

Friday, 29 March 2013

# 64

"It was very obvious to me that there was some underlying, difficult-to-grasp principle about art; that if two things can be very much alike to me and one can be of great value the other be aesthetically valueless, that there must be some very subtle thing that has to do with painting. And I was very much interested in finding out what that underlying principle is." --- Roy Lichtenstein

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

# 63

On my way to London... 

London, China Town, 2011

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

# 62

I'm going to see the Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective at the Tate Gallery in London, tomorrow. 

Here's what Arthur C. Danto has to say about Lichtenstein's Brushstroke paintings, in comparison to the importance of the brushstroke exercised by the Abstract Expressionists:

"By contrast with the free and liberated spirit with which those strokes emerged onto their canvases, these strokes are shown almost mechanically, almost as though printed onto Lichtenstein's canvases; and indeed Lichtenstein uses the Ben Day dots of mechanical reproduction process. So the canvases look like mechanical representations of vital gestures. (...)
The interposition of the Ben Day dot has profound symbolism of its own, inasmuch as it encodes the manner in which we perceive the major events of our time, through the wine-service photograph and the television screen; the depiction of the victims of the Vietnam war takes on an added dimension of horror when the mechanical mode of depiction is incorporated as part of the image, for our experiences are modulated through the medium which has indeed, in McLuhan's slogan, come to be part, at least, of the message." --- Arthur C. Danto, Transfiguration of the Commonplace

Monday, 25 March 2013

# 61


This is really such an annoying cliché! A beat poet is driven out of his 'natural' habitat because New York real estate companies decide to give the city a more presentable, commercial, clean look.

Apparently, the 88 year old Taylor Mead (you might be familiar with Taylor Mead's Ass by Andy Warhol) is about to be kicked out of his apartment in New York's Lower East Side. Some fancy-pants real estate group is planning to turn the building, in which Mead is currently living, into a posh apartment complex. Click here, to read the entire story in Mail Online

My favourite quote from the article: "They're trying to get me through the (construction) noise, but I'm getting used to it. I pretend it it's the ocean. It's a tsunami."

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Friday, 22 March 2013

# 59

"As soon as you stop wanting something you get it. I've found that to be absolutely axiomatic." --- Andy Warhol

Now I just need to stop wanting the things I really want... 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

# 58

"When I look at things, I always see the space they occupy. I always want the space to reappear, to make a comeback, because it's lost space when there's something in it. If I see a chair in a beautiful space, no matter how beautiful the chair is, it can never be as beautiful to me as the plain space. 
My favorite piece of sculpture is a solid wall with a hole in it to frame the space on the other side." --- Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

# 57

Things simply look better with a touch of Warhol ...

building in Belfast on Donegall Street before and after ...



Saturday, 16 March 2013

# 56

"Andy Warhol told me that what we were doing with the music was the same thing he was doing with painting and movies and writing - i.e., not kidding around. To my mind nobody in music was doing anything that even approximated the real thing, with exception of us. We were doing a specific thing that was very, very real. It wasn't slick or a lie in any conceivable way, which was the only way we could work with him. Because the very first thing I liked about Andy was that he was very real." --- Lou Reed, Please Kill Me

Friday, 15 March 2013

# 55

Yesterday, during a workshop for our Contemporary Curating course at the World Museum Liverpool, the curator Emma Martin introduced to us the art works of Tibetan artist Gade
I was struck by his absolutely unique combination of traditional use of colour and composition and commercial imagery. This is a Tibetan Warhol! :D
Gade's art can be admired at Rossi & Rossi gallery in London and it includes such famous figures as the incredible Hulk and Ronald McDonald. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

# 54

Okay, I have to admit that I have neither the money nor the 'posh' attitude to wear Dior but, oh, how I like these new Warhol inspired clothes: 
The article about Raf Simons new collection in Interview Magazine really makes me want to exchange my laptop for my trusty, old sewing machine and simply sew away for a couple of days... I don't even need an original Warhol design on my clothes... the style of the white dresses is inspiring enough!
Unfortunately, full time studies and sewing don't go too well with each other. But I don't want to complain because I extremely enjoy my 'German-girl-in-exile' life, here in Liverpool! 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Monday, 11 March 2013

# 52

What to do when you don't want to work? Procrastinate!

What to do when you are a Warhol fan and you don't want to work? Procrastinate Warhol-style by doing a Warhol puzzle!

Found this website and it is astonishing how easily time passes browsing through it ...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

# 51

"Ordinarily when we look at a given image there is a certain passage of time required for primary comprehension. There are five, or maybe fifteen seconds (thirty would be a long time) during which the mind is simply identifying what it is seeing. In Warhol's case time required for recognition is reduced to something instantaneous. We get it, always, right away. I am speaking of the absolute legibility on Duchamp's second path. These are some of the most famous faces in the world, Marilyn and Mao; these are the universal commonplaces of brand names or things universally known: the mushroom cloud, the electric chair. The images are often horrific, as for example the execution chamber in Sing Sing or the torn body dangling from the wrecked car in Saturday Disaster. Whether awful or inane, every image invariably asserts an intense graphic frontally which would hit us smack in the eyes were it not modified by Warhol's counter move against its power, his voyeur's transformation." --- Stephen Koch, Stargazer

# 50

"The Art we look at is made by only a select few. A small group create, promote, purchase, exhibit and decide the success of Art. Only a few hundred people in the world have any real say. When you go to an Art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires." --- Banksy, Wall and Piece

I do agree with Banksy. The more you think about it the more you realise how very odd the notion of an art gallery is. 

Is the Art we are looking at truly great because the director and the curator of the museum said so? Does it matter that, on this planet there might be other art works which are more original, more genius, more artistic but which, for whatever reasons, do not end up in the MoMa, Tate or Louvre? Do we care? Is the Art we look at truly great or is it just 'great' because someone else said so? 

From a Pop Art point of view I think that there has already been a great change in the last couple of decades in terms of our understanding of what art is or can be ("Art is what you can get away with" Andy Warhol). However, to be truly honest, this change may have brought up new questions and possible answers of what art is but it didn't really change the fact that galleries and museums still dominate our artistic and cultural practices. Museums and galleries, and the people who run them, are more powerful than we sometimes want to admit. 

Although Warhol managed to finally undermine the distinction between 'high' and 'low' art, the circles in which art is talked about, worked with, dealt with and decided over has not changed a bit. The Factory was an open place during the 60s. In the 70s, due to Valerie Solana's attack on Warhol, it had turned into a regular office which was just as exclusive about the people who were admitted to it as any royal court.  And although Warhol's work is increasingly popular (think about the extremely high prices at the most recent Christie's auction) the people who sell and buy and (only maybe) display these works are a small group who probably know each other on first name basis. No 'average' citizen will ever be a part of this clique. In this sense Pop Art is just as exclusive as any other art. The images themselves may be more accessible and they are certainly more appealing to people who don't consider themselves to be much interested in art, but we only know of them because their creators played according to the same rules that the art world imposed on them. 

Even though today the internet and the reign of social media may have changed the perception and the accessibility of art it is still a fact that being admitted to an art school, working as an artist (and actually exhibiting your work) is only granted to a few lucky ones.Today as much as ever, internships and jobs in well-known galleries are rare and mostly assigned to people who already have contact to the art world. 

Then again, why should we care whether or not an art work is accepted by a museum or a gallery? Is it important to study art in order to be an artist? What exactly changes when a genius work of art is no longer in the private room of the person who created it but in a sterile gallery with white walls and a glass cube protecting it? 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

# 49

"The best atmosphere I can think of is film, because it's three-dimensional physically and two-dimensional emotionally." --- Andy Warhol 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

# 48

"People in general influence me; I hate just objects, they have no interest for me at all, so when I paint I just make more and more of these objects, without any feeling for them. All the publicity I've gotten... it's so funny, really... it's not that they don't understand me, I think everyone understands everyone, non-communication is not a problem, it's just that I feel I'm understood and am not bothered by any of the things that're written on me: I don't read much about myself, anyway, I just look at pictures in the articles, it doesn't matter what they say about me; I just read the textures of words." --- Andy Warhol

Sunday, 3 March 2013

# 47

I'm back from my weekend in Belfast and I feel like it was a mini-holiday. The Warhol exhibition at The Mac is definitely worth a visit! 

About 2 years ago, I lived in Northern Ireland as an exchange student and I studied at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. Therefore, I already know Belfast pretty well and returning to the city felt strangely nice.

The weather was beautiful when I arrived (not very usual in this area so I felt extremely lucky) on Friday morning and I actually wore my sunglasses for the first time this year. On my way from Belfast International Airport to the city centre it occurred to me how familiar Northern Ireland still feels to me. When I stepped out of the bus I headed straight towards the same youth hostel where I had spent several nights about two years before. After quickly checking in, I went to the Tourist Information right away to find out how to get to The Mac since  it had only opened about a year ago and therefore I'd never been to the gallery before.

The Mac is a bit hidden, behind St Anne's Cathedral and Ulster University but with the city map from the Tourist Information you'll find it very quickly. It is right in the centre and, yes, it might be smaller than the galleries in London and other international cities but, like Belfast in general, it has a very welcoming and accessible atmosphere to it. In my opinion, it can definitely keep up with other big galleries like Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern.The spacious foyer and the friendly staff really make you feel like spending some time there. The admission is free, as it is for all national galleries in the UK, and there is a lovely café and bar and several lockers to leave your handbag and coat.

The Andy Warhol exhibition is on the 3rd and 4th floor and features a lot of Warhol's poster art, as well as his floating silver pillows and his camouflage and religious paintings. A couple of his films are shown in the Sunken Gallery which is right next to the street entrance. Although the exhibition itself is not very big and you can easily walk through within an hour, there are several guided tours, exhibition brochures and friendly staff to give you further information. While talking to one of the volunteers I found out that most of the exhibition pieces are on display for the last time before they will be stored away in order to preserve them. Last chance to see a couple of Warhol's works for quite some time I imagine.

Given the fact that The Mac only opened about a year ago I was really impressed how quickly and efficiently the exhibition was prepared within such short time. As part of the Artist Rooms Tour and in collaboration with the Tate, the National Gallery Scotland and the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh it is really the first major exhibition for Northern Ireland. With all my sympathies for Belfast, I have to say that I'm very happy that the city has such a modern and welcoming art gallery now. An art gallery was literally the only thing I missed when I was visiting Belfast before. 

And although the exhibition is not too big I managed to spend the entire Friday at The Mac. With a Warhol documentary running throughout the day in the Sunken Gallery and individual screenings of My Hustler, Sleep, and Eat you can just relax and watch movies all the time, if you want to. In comparison to the rest of the UK I also find that Northern Ireland is less pricy therefore giving yourself a treat at the café is actually affordable. Another advantage: free Wi-Fi in the common room and a very comfortable couch on the second floor. Honestly, if you're traveling and just need some rest after carrying your luggage around it is actually a brilliant idea to just spent your day at The Mac. I felt pretty relaxed after leaving in the evening.

Now, back in Liverpool, when I think about my favourite piece of the exhibition I'd have to say: the floating pillows room. It has a small bench to sit on, the silver clouds hovering over your head and you can watch short video clips showing snapshot moments of Andy Warhol's life.  I'm a big fan of the silver pillows since I first saw them at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. There is something very calm and surreal about them. The way they simply move about rarely making a sound, inviting you to gently push them around for a while... it is as if they were taken from a sci-fi movie... but without alienating you completely.