Do you like Andy Warhol? I sure do. He is by far my favorite artist (living or dead) and it always seems like, even when I think I have seen all of his works, there is something new to discover.
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In the 1980’s, Andy Warhol befriended several young artists of notoriety, including Keith Haring, with whom he also collaborated. Celebrated for his public and socially conscious art, Haring is pictured here with his then-boyfriend, DJ Juan Dubose. This portrait (1983) is rare, within Warhol’s oeuvre and in the visual culture of its time, in its depiction of intimacy between an interracial same-sex couple.
Photographed, Against a Wallpaper Comprised of Warhol’s Silkscreened Celebrity Portraits, in The Jewish Museum in Upper Manhattan
In March of 2019, I attended a fun event-thing called the Barbie 60th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience, which was just insane. Imagine being wedged into a crowded labyrinth of bright lights, neon colors, and every type of Barbie-branded doll in the universe, including Gender-Nonconforming Barbie and Dad-Bod Ken. Now, add little kids with their parents, and millennial Instagram-whores, and you’re got an idea of the scenario that I consider myself lucky to have survived with my sanity intact. Still: super fun!
While I saw literally hundreds of Barbies that day, the one that I will surely never forget is this Pink Mink Stole-draped plastic goddess known as the Andy Warhol Barbie. Here’s why: this Barbie (the third such doll produced in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation) is the definitive celebration of Warhol, drawing inspiration from the original Warhol Barbie portrait created by the artist in 1986. Barbie’s strapless gown features a sweetheart neckline and an overall print of the Warhol Barbie Portrait (you can see a few details of Barbie’s face on the dress if you look closely at the above photo). Beyond the fabulous Pink faux fur stole with blue lining, the doll’s accessories also include blue pumps accented with glitter inspired by Warhol’s technique of “diamond dust” crushed glass on canvas, earrings, necklace, ring and doll stand. Rad.
Sadly I could not capture details of the glittery shoes, as Andy Warhol Barbie was encased in a vitrine, to protect her from molestation. The statement to the left of Barbie’s face in the above photo reads as follows:
Andy Warhol made his mark by creating images of American icons. Barbie was added to the list when Warhol painted her in 1986. The first Barbie portrait was reportedly inspired by Warhol’s muse, Billy Boy, a jewelry designer and member of new York downtown scene in the 1980s, who owned a vast collection of Barbie dolls.
From Weng Contemporary:
The Souper Dress, inspired by the iconic Campbell Soup Cans series by Andy Warhol, was imagined and produced by the Campbell Soup Company as a mail order offer and as an effective advertising campaign when paper dresses were all the rage in the 1960s. Two labels from any different variety of Campbell’s Vegetable Soups and $1.00 got you the dress.
These porcelain-enameled steel panels once clad the exterior of Best Products catalogue showroom in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Featuring a cheery floral pattern, they evoke both mass-market chintz textiles and Pop artist Andy Warhol’s silkscreened canvases. The building’s billboard-scale graphics and signage made it highly visible from the roadway — an improbable meadow springing from a suburban parking lot. During the 1970s, Best Products‘ founders commissioned firms like Venturi and Rauch, and SITE (Sculpture in the Environment) to design architecturally novel, often whimsical showrooms that set the chain apart from its competitors.
The ornamental big-box store exemplifies the postmodern architectural concept of the “decorated shed,” introduced by Venturi and Scott Brown — Robert Venturi’s firm with his wife, Denise Scott Brown — (with co-author Steven Izenour) in Learning from Las Vegas, their influential 1972 text on the built environment. The decorated shed describes any generic structure that relies on applied ornament and signs to convey its purpose.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
It’s hard to believe that Eduardo Kobra’s Mount Rushmore of Art mural has been up for five months already, and it took me that long to photograph it in its finished state; but that what I finally had the chance to do on Easter Sunday, when I went for walk on the High Line.
Located at 10th Avenue and 22nd Street, directly above the often-shuttered-and-reopened Empire Diner, I happened to be in that neighborhood on November 3rd, 2018, while Kobra and his team worked on monumental piece, detailing the likenesses of four contemporary art legends: Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I was able to take a few photos of the mural as a work-in-progress on the afternoon, so I thought it would be fun to share them alongside photos of the completed mural, which takes its name from the monument located in South Dakota, swapping out US Presidents for North American Artists.
Finishing touches are added to the face of Keith Haring (1958 – 1990). Frida Kahlo’s beautiful face seems to be completed at this point. She lived from 1907 to 1954.
Kobra works on the face of Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987). The Dollar Sign visible under Warhol’s likeness, which is a motif from his artworks, has been replaced in the finished mural by a dinosaur wearing crown: an image popularized by Basquiat, who was a disciple of Warhol.
This mural was completed in collaboration with HG Contemporary Gallery in NYC.