Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Why Did Andy Warhol Love Christmas?

20th century

Why Did Andy Warhol Love Christmas?

Who would guess that Andy Warhol, one of the most decadent artists of the 20th century, the owner of the controversial Factory leading a scandalous life, loved Christmas? Well, he did. A loooot.

 Andy Warhol, Christmas Tree, ink, tempera and collage on paper, Drawn circa 1958 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., warhol christmas

Andy Warhol, Christmas Tree, ink, tempera and collage on paper, Drawn circa 1958 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Warhol’s parents came from the region of today’s Slovakia and as his nephew Donald Warhol admitted, Warhol “was a practicing Byzantine Catholic, and actually attended a Roman church later in his life,” adding that he “was very religious, it was a very big part of his upbringing.” Probably surprisingly for those who associate Warhol mostly with the Cans of Campbell Soup, the artist did explore his faith in his art, for example in his 1986 screen print depicting The Last Supper, or the “Heaven and Hell” series, yet as Jessica Beck, assistant curator of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh said, these religious works are largely “under-researched”.

Andy Warhol, Wreath, ink and watercolor on paper, Drawn circa 1956 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., warhol christmas

Andy Warhol, Wreath, ink and watercolor on paper, Drawn circa 1956 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.


When Warhol began working for the Fifth Avenue temple of Tiffany & Co. upon his arrival in Manhattan from a poor part of Pittsburgh, he quickly became the new king of Christmas. In 1956 he was commissioned to design Christmas cards, in addition to the commissions for drawings of shoes and bags. His cards were subsequently published by Tiffany’s every Christmas up to 1962, the year of soup cans.

Andy Warhol, Christmas Fairy "Merry Christmas to You," ink on paper, drawn circa 1954. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., warhol christmas

Andy Warhol, Christmas Fairy “Merry Christmas to You,” ink on paper, drawn circa 1954. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

However, why did he love Christmas so much? As we know, Warhol was fascinated by popular culture and consumerism, and Christmas probably is the most Pop thing ever. Christmas is at once materialistic and spiritual, kitsch yet inviting to a more decent collective life, it’s universal and democratic, exactly like popular culture.

Christmas Tree, offset lithograph with gold leaf on folded paper, from an edition of unknown size, executed circa 1957 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., warhol christmas

Andy Warhol, Christmas Tree, offset lithograph with gold leaf on folded paper, from an edition of unknown size, executed circa 1957 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.


 

Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in 20th century

  • 20th century

    Passing Time with Klee: Demonstrating Temporality in Visual Art

    By

    Paul Klee was a “musical” painter, not least because he chose the violin and bow before brush and easel. Klee’s father was a music teacher and his mother a singer, which had a profound effect on his approach to painting.  Fugue in Red (1921) is one...

  • 20th century

    Tina Modotti. A Woman of Her Time

    By

    Tina Modotti is a photographer whose path parallels the great moments of 20th-century history. Her way of making art is a testimony to the world around her and her eye on it. Emigration to the States Tina Modotti was born in 1896 in Italy to a...

  • 20th century

    Make Everywhere Our New York: Keith Haring Exhibition to Inspire Liverpool Millennials

    By

    Why do Keith Haring’s works still matter in 2019? With Brexit approaching the deadline, Tate Liverpool welcomes the first major exhibition in the UK of Keith Haring. Here are some highlights at the exhibition that Liverpool millennials think are inspirational at this critical transitional point. Go...

  • 20th century

    The Largest Mural on Earth

    By

    Early Fall, for students around the world, means one thing: back to school, back to writing papers, and exam preparations. For students of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), it means back to Ciudad Universitaria, the beautiful complex of modernist buildings, planned by a group...

  • 20th century

    The Dystopian Surrealism of Zdzislaw Beksinski

    By

    There are many fans of gruesome and gore art who are attracted to the dystopian surrealism of Zdzisław Beksiński. After all, he created such a gothic, haunting and stressful ambience in his paintings, making it hard to look away. He was a pioneer of Polish contemporary...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy