Even in death, Andy Warhol still knows
how to get around.
Popular beyond belief and his own grave
site, his work never ceases to draw art
audiences, even in the city of Wellington,
His inner vision and creative portrayal of
what it is to be a celebrity continues to hold
us captive to this day. Obsessed as he was
with fame and stardom, his celebrity status
has lasted much longer than his own quota
of 15 minutes.
An Andy Warhol Exhibition
Warhol: Immortal is a show that captures the glamour of fame in all its poses. An exhibition transported to New Zealand from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, USA, it is overflowing with Warhol's commissioned works from the 1970s. Along with an entourage of multimedia, the show presents many self portraits and the gaze of the artist's mortality, as reflected in pieces produced near the end of his life.
The Warhol: Immortal show, on at Te Papa Museum in Wellington in 2013, does so much to justify and reveal what made Warhol so Warhol. His name unforgettable, he forged a way, an art movement that was original and at the same time, cliché.
With soap boxes and a lineup of every-day Campbell's soup cans, it seems that all one needed to do was visit a supermarket and reprint branded labels in repetitive sequences to claim fame. Yes, Warhol had the idea and cleverly accomplished it before anyone else did.
Andy Warhol The Artist
Andy Warhol was an ingénue of sorts. He had his own gathering at the Factory and blissfully followed others who 'bathed' in media-curated spotlights. Quietly gay, Warhol was an artist and visionary with East European roots. Eyeing culture on all levels – commercial, social, artistic and elite – he understood fame, its impact and powerful potential.
Warhol connected with all who were in, and out, of the New York art scene and drew them into his sphere. The likes of Jean Michel Basquiat, the Velvet Underground, Eddie Sedgwick and many others, were favoured as friends, confidants and creative partners.
A celebrity seeker himself, Andy Warhol trusted his own instincts in the art world and found he could make a living off the commissions of the rich and famous. Producing print after print of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Grace Kelly, James Dean, Mick Jagger and Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol created a name and a following for himself and those he adored.
Andy Warhol Works
While Andy may not be alive or pictured in the flesh at NYC gallery openings these days, his works embody all that he sought to live, enjoy and witness. Wrapped up and immersed in the idea of enduring celebrity, his images are bold and effervescent in today's world – one that hastens to promote weak personalities and reality TV.
From 1928 to 1987, Andy Warhol lived a true life, one he constructed for himself and was not bound to rules formulated by the fine art world of master painters. He proved in the end, all you need is your own ideas of what art could and might be, and proceeded to take himself out of the box. A Brillo one, at that.
Warhol Show In Wellington, NZ
Andy Warhol's Immortal show opened on June 1 in 2013, and was open for viewing at the Visa Platinum Gallery, on Level 4, at Te Papa Tongarewa – the Museum of New Zealand, until August 25. Tickets for the exhibition can be purchased online at Ticketek or alternatively at the museum, with admission costing NZ$17.50 per adult, and NZ$10.50 for each child aged 5 to 15 years.
As Aotearoa New Zealand's premier museum, Te Papa Tongarewa is situated on the waterfront of downtown Wellington. It is located close to the city's public transport systems, has car parking and taxi services available on site, and is within casual walking distance from inner-city hotels, such as the Museum Art Hotel, Amora Hotel, and the Bay Plaza Hotel on Oriental Parade.
Spectacular and pictorial, Warhol: Immortal is an art show to pop into. Filled with screen-printed canvases of who’s who in the world of cult heroes and famed leaders, Andy Warhol was a Pop artist who once stated “everybody must have a fantasy.” He was one who lived, dreamt and became his own. He is immortal and forever, Warhol.