Category Archives: Pop Art

Review: THIS IS WARHOL, published by Laurence King Publishing

Andy-Warhol-Laurence-King

This week we will consider Laurence King Publishing’s exciting new artist series in a graphic novel format. We begin with “This is Warhol.” We will continue with Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, and end the week with Paul Gauguin. How often have you started the week with Andy Warhol and ended the week with Paul Gauguin? Well, you lucky duck, this is your week. These are all iconoclasts and each of their work continues to reverberate. Among this group, we feel closest to Warhol, despite the fact he was personally quite distant. We think we know him. But, as this book clearly demonstrates, there is much more than meets the casual observer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Catherine Ingram writes with great enthusiasm and confidence in her subject. She weaves a compelling narrative in such a concise manner, never wasting a word. As she’s describing Warhol’s childhood, she is deftly planting seeds that link us to the vision of the leading figure of Pop Art. Andy, the child, is gazing upon his neighborhood church’s icons. As a Catholic, the icons are powerful figures for Warhol. As an adult, he will take that same level of emotional attachment to his depictions of Campbell’s soup cans and Hollywood stars. But weren’t these repeated images from pop culture simply statements about an empty and shallow society? No, Ingram makes a case for much more being said.

Continue reading

Advertisements

9 Comments

Filed under Andy Warhol, Art, Art books, Laurence King Publishing, Pop Art, pop culture

SEA/PDX: Max and Lucia Make a Safe Landing at Seattle’s Art-obsessed Hotel Max

Max and Lucia come in for a safe landing at Seattle’s Art-obsessed Hotel Max after a visit to Popland.

Hotel-Max-Pop-Departures-0001

Hotel-Max-Pop-Departures-0002

Hotel-Max-Pop-Departures-0003

Hotel-Max-Pop-Departures-0004

Hotel-Max-Pop-Departures-0005

Hotel-Max-Pop-Departures-0006

During the “Pop Departures” exhibition at Seattle Art Museum, Hotel Max is displaying its own Pop Up Pop Art Show featuring Pop Art masters from the show at SAM. To book your own Pop Art Getaway, visit our friends at Hotel Max right here.

2 Comments

Filed under Andy Warhol, Henry Chamberlain, Hotel Max, Hotels, Max at Hotel Max Comics, Pop Art, SAM, SEA/PDX, Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Travel

SEA/PDX: Field Notes From SAM’s ‘Pop Departures’

Seattle-Art-Museum-Pop-Departures

Seattle Art Museum is a veritable Popland for its show, POP DEPARTURES, OCT 9 2014 – JAN 11 2015. For more details, visit our friends at SAM right here.

What follows are field notes from the current show. Consider it a review, a guide, a friendly tour. When it comes to reviewing a show like SAM’s exploration of Pop Art, it’s a brave new world. Today, a handful of local art critics no longer command public opinion as much as make a noble contribution. No sooner have they done that, in a poetic, or quirky, or straightforward fashion, than a babble of reactions shoot out from below in the comment section. And that’s exactly what Andy Warhol would have wholeheartedly approved of!

As much as can be said for Pop Art shedding a light on a dead end, Pop Art is full of life. It’s our world, made up of mass media galore and celebrity worship. Let’s do something about it. Since it’s not going away, engage it. Make art. The babble in the comment section can rage on and on and on. Some of us learned how to love the bomb, so to speak. That is the overriding sensibility to be found here. There’s social commentary, critique, and satire, of course. But, ultimately, when Warhol suggested that everyone would get their fifteen minutes of fame, it wasn’t a barb but a realization.

SAM provides a refreshing look at Pop Art byway of where it came from and how it continues to reverberate to this very day. You may even see such familiar figures as Warhol and Lichtenstein in a new light. What this exhibit does so well is demonstrate how, as time progressed, and consumer culture became more complex, so did contemporary art. Layer upon layer, extended the bright and bold message of consumerism. As the landscape of pop culture evolved, and devolved, art responded and collaborated.

Art and its subject end up doing a dance together. And the most subversive work will find its way into the mainstream. Consider the cacophonous video on display by Ryan Trecartin. You may find that you got the joke and want to walk out as soon as you walked in. But stay a while. Wait a minute, something about these vacuous characters spouting gibberish and thinking themselves profound is very familiar. Compare this to the mainstream co-opting (or is it stealing?) by Saturday Night Live with their popular ongoing skit, “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.”

As we view the Warhols and Lichtensteins, we don’t need to see them as only a part of art history. They continue to breathe life. They continue to provide a road map (sorry, no GPS) for making sense of the landscape.

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0001

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0002

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0003

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0004

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0005

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0006

SAM-Pop-Art-Pop-Departures

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0008

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0009

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0010

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0011

SAM-Pop-Departures-2014-0012

“Pop Departures” is on view from October 9, 2014 thru January 11, 2015. Visit our friends at SAM right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Andy Warhol, Max at Hotel Max Comics, Pop Art, Raymond Pettibon, Roy Lichtenstein, SAM, SEA/PDX, Seattle, Seattle Art Museum