Category / Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol: Almost Famous

-photograph by William John Kennedy
-photograph by William John Kennedy

“Everybody must have a fantasy.” -Andy Warhol

“For a period of time in the early 1960s, a young commercial photographer named William John Kennedy made a habit of shooting a couple of artists he had befriended in New York’s gallery scene. He then filed the negatives away in a cardboard box, where they remained for almost 50 years. Now 81 and living in Miami Beach, Kennedy recently unearthed the archive: the artists were Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol, and the period was late 1962 to 1964, the years during which Indiana and Warhol were becoming household names. The photographs, which will be exhibited at the Scope Miami art show during Art Basel Miami Beach, include some of the only known shots of Indiana and Warhol with their iconic works: Indiana with his “Love” painting, Warhol with an acetate of Marilyn Monroe. Perhaps more remarkably, though, they capture the artists not fully formed but on the cusp of fame. “They were in their infancy,” Kennedy said by phone from Miami. “But by the end, it would be a miracle if I could shoot one minute because Andy was constantly going to the telephone to answer calls.” -T Magazine

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Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol & the Pop Art of Celebrity

“In the future, everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” -Andy Warhol

Celebrity & PopArt:

“The growing popularity of television in American homes in the late 1950s and early 1960s fed a culture of celebrity-worship across the United States. Now able to view their favorite actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians from the comfort of their living rooms, the public became captivated by people who represented the American dream of money, glamour, and success.

“Pop artists seized on the culture of celebrity worship, portraying cultural icons and political figures from a range of media. They embraced, and at times slyly critiqued, this media-saturated culture, employing the faces of Hollywood actors, musicians, notorious criminals, politicians—and the tabloid stories surrounding them—as sources of imagery and reflections of the changing culture.” -MOMA

Capturing Celebrity:

“Warhol loved to paint portraits of the rich and famous. When most people think of Andy Warhol, they think of his portrait of Marilyn Monroe. Warhol painted Marilyn Monroe’s portrait after Monroe had overdosed on barbiturates and died. Warhol became fascinated by the very idea of figures such Monroe, with a glamorous lifestyle and an almost mythical status as a Hollywood icon, and wanted to portray her as a sex goddess and a consumer item to be mass produced. Warhol also enjoyed the carefree parties and lifestyle of rock stars. He painted ten portraits of Mick Jagger and several portraits of Elvis Presley. It’s surprising to note that Warhol also noticed Canadian celebrities who had never stepped foot in The Factory. In 1984, he painted a portrait of Wayne Gretzky at the peak of his stardom. Although Warhol wasn’t a hockey fan, he admired Gretzky for being one of Canada’s biggest celebrities, noting that that Gretzky is ‘more than a hockey player, he’s an entertainer.” -TheCultureTrip.com

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