Sunday, February 7, 2010

“Abstract impression art is real art”

Confucius said: “At fifteen I set my mind on learning. At thirty I acted on the proprieties. At forty I could make a clear distinction between benevolence and non-benevolence. At fifty I came to know the existence of the heavenly principles. At sixty, the heavenly principles were not offensive to my ears. At seventy I could do whatever I wished to without going beyond the heavenly principles.”
Andy Warhol: Self-Portrait with Skull Diptych, 1977

The late works of Andy Warhol showed how settled he was in his ideas and how clear his direction was. He knew what he wanted to do.

Andy Warhol started to look back to his old topics in the last ten years of his life, he re-examined the media and the media’s portrayal of himself. It was wonderful to see a show of Warhol’s last ten years, because compared to his early works, you can see maturity. His style was settled even though he was trying new things. He had become an icon, his art had become his business.

Is Andy Warhol too commercial? The ready-made subjects, such as soup cans, Marilyn Monroe, etc, seem so abstract in his works. They look like what you can see all over the place in your everyday life, but they have personality. You can see Andy Warhol behind them. However, I don’t think he was advertising, he was trying to explain that this is the culture we live in now and will have in the future, and the chicken soup can is just the tool he used to illustrate.

I feel Andy Warhol was pretty settled when he was 50. When he had the idea of looking back and trying to do something new with the old subjects, he was still the shiniest star of POP. I believe that, even though those works may not be as famous or mind-blowing as his early works, his late works definitely raised his art to a new level.

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