Andy Warhol Prince of Pop

I was reading a great blog entry last week about Andy Warhol and a biography written about him, Andy Warhol Prince of Pop. The author wrote:

Andy Warhol is inseparable from American Pop Art – an art movement that started in the 1960s and continues today. What made Warhol famous over and above other Pop artists (such as Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wasselmann, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg) was his application of this art form into media such as advertising, design, books, films, TV production and fashion. Besides, when other famous Abstract Expressionist artists of the time (such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko) remained true to their oeuvre, Warhol shamelessly experimented with different media, form and content, extending the boundaries to establish his own style and standards not only on Pop Art, but also on contemporary American culture.

Andy Warhol is often referred to as the Father of the Pop Art Movement, which began in the 1960’s. My first exposure to Andy Warhol’s work….other than the famous soup can paintings….was his 3D movies in the 1970’s….Andy Warhol’s Dracula was a personal favorite. He was so avant garde in his film making. His sense of feeling wasn’t like any movie i had ever seen before…very dark with strong sexual overtones. Very interesting for a movie about Dracula.

I think that what made Andy Warhol so incredibly special was how he was able to move into so many worlds with his artwork….very similar what Robert Rauschenberg accomplished but even more so. Warhol was into art, films, fashion, architecture, and advertising. His influence permeated every facet of popular American culture. He was a newsmaker and a celebrity presence.

What is amazing for me as an artist is to note the way that he was able to apply himself with equal energy to so many pursuits. For me, just creating the artwork that i create is all-absorbing. It’s all i think about and all i do. It takes a great deal of energy. I can’t imagine how much energy and focus it took for him to express himself in so many different ways.

I was once asked whether or not i was part of the next generation of pop artists, carrying on the work of Warhol, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, etc. It’s a hard question to answer. I look at how many of those artists were considered commercial and today are revered as famous fine artists. Sometimes i feel like i am going in that direction too – i hope so. I do believe that i and my contemporaries are the next generation in a sense…maybe i unconsciously feel an obligation to carry on the movement…but that makes it sound too important. It’s not something i think about very often because it’s too much pressure and i’m just not there yet. I ASPIRE to be considered the “next generation” and to have that responsibility…but only time will tell if that’s how my work is seen.

–Charles

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