Recently I visited Andy Warhol’s exhibit, From Marilyn to Mao: Andy Warhol’s Famous Faces at the Columbia Museum of Art. I had seen Andy Warhol’s art in books, but I had never understood the purpose or impact of his art.
While exploring the exhibit, I learned that Andy Warhol is “central to the pop art movement and one of the best-known 20th-century American artists. From Marilyn to Mao uses 55 of Warhol’s famous portraits to explore pop art’s tenet of the cult of celebrity, the idea that pop culture adores the famous simply because they are famous. Warhol exploited society’s collective obsession with fame like no artist before or after him.”
I was inspired by Andy Warhol’s ability to make art accessible. While some people may not understand abstract art, they do understand celebrities and pop culture. Andy Warhol took abstract concepts (such as society’s obsession with fame) and turned them into relatable, understandable images (such as photos of celebrities with added colors and designs). By manipulating celebrity images, Andy Warhol was able to communicate with viewers, especially when he intended to convey humor. Below are few of my favorite works by Andy Warhol:
For those of you who are interested in art but struggle to understand its meaning, I encourage you to learn more about Andy Warhol’s art. He can relate to our fascination with fame and evoke emotion while we view his work. You can experience an interactive tour of the exhibit here. If you are in the Columbia, South Carolina area, be sure to visit the exhibit before September 13!