Andy Warhol is so popular these days that his Brillo Boxes and Campbell’s Soup cans have almost achieved the redundancy that he sought to rescue them from when he started making his iconic silkscreen prints in the 1960’s. But just when it seems like no more can be said about one of Pop Art’s most famous champions, this exhibit of over 150 pieces draws a well-rounded picture of an artist who wanted to make a statement about the commoditization of the image and ended up transforming the world of contemporary art.
Curated by Peter Brant, one of the artist’s closest friends, the exhibit follows Warhol’s artistic trajectory from his start illustrating magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and the New Yorker to his experimental “piss paintings” (they’re both exactly what you think they are and so much cooler) to his famous celebrity portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, and Elvis Presley. Warhol anticipated the repetitive exploitation of the image that defines today’s brain washing mass media.
His ability to make sociological statements about American society with one bold print image has turned him into an almost mythical figure but a detailed biography of Warhol at the start of the exhibit fills in the details about the man behind the art and a video at the end captures the kooky world of his studio, “The Factory,” where celebrities, artists, and bohemian society came together to play and create. It’s the mix of the man (his progression as an artist, his paranoia, his obsessions), the pop art movement, and the art itself that make this exhibit well worth a visit.
Till 28 September 2014
Fondazione Museo Roma (Palazzo Cipolla)
Via del Corso, 320
Mon 2-8pm; Tue-sun 10am-8pm
Entry fee €12-14