fbpx
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

    Exploring the History of Mexico in the Murals of The Big Three

    By

    Although most commonly associated with the works of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, muralism has actually been part of Mexico’s artistic heritage since pre-Colombian times. In fact, we have learned that Mesoamerican civilizations adorned their palaces and temples with murals. They illustrated...

  • 20th century

    Painting of the Week: Valentin Serov, Princess Olga Orlova

    By

    Late Tsarist Russia evokes images of great social inequality in respect of health, wealth, and happiness. In addition, it evokes images of extreme luxury, smothered in expensive fabrics and furs and layered in diamonds and pearls. Valentin Serov captured this glittering world through his evocative portraits...

  • 20th century

    Album Covers You Didn’t Know that Are Pure Art

    By

    Every serious music fan will recognize the merits of the following albums for the developments in the history of contemporary music. But… will they know that they were also groundbreaking for the history of art as they documented how closely the two worlds of music and visual arts...

  • Impressionism

    Wagnerism in Art: Painting Music or Listening to Pictures

    By

    What is Wagnerism? There are perhaps no other cultural movements in the world that we have named after one person. Wagnerism was admiration for Wagner’s musical oeuvre, which originated in the second half of the 19th century. The attention directed at his music was so huge...

  • 20th century

    Famous Musicians who Paint: Making Music and Art

    By

    Creatively speaking, the term ‘art’ can mean many things. Whether it is music, writing, painting, sculpting, or drawing, it is all under the umbrella of ‘art.’ For the sake of this article however, let us look at several well-known musicians who created visual art outside of...

To Top