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A Perfect Andy Warhol’s Birthday Party

Artists' Stories

A Perfect Andy Warhol’s Birthday Party

Andy Warhol would have turned 88 today and would have probably thrown a giant party, since his Factory attracted country’s socialites, drag queens, drug addicts, actors, musicians and geniuses. They made art, love and … tones of parties. Nowadays, many organize parties themed “Pop Art” or “Andy Warhol”. But, to be honest, in order to make a real Warhol party you would need:

Space Fruit

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Andy Warhol, Space Fruit: Still Lifes (Cantaloupes II), 1979, Screen print, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Warhol began working on this series in 1977 with his assistant Rupert Jasen Smith. He reinvented this old genre of still life with his colourful silkscreens: each colour is a different layer of the print. The printing process allowed him to create endless and unique colour combinations which in turn gave life to completely new and otherworldly kinds of fruit.

32 Soup Cans

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Andy Warhol, 32 Soup Cans, 1962, acrylic on canvas,


Warhol exhibited his series of paintings of soup cans in MoMA. Each of the works stood on a shelf, like cans in a supermarket. There were 32 different paintings, which was equivalent to the number of varieties of soups sold by Campbell’s in 1962. Warhol admitted that he had been eating the chicken soup all year long. Yummy.

Green Coke Bottles

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Andy Warhol, Green Coca Cola Bottles, 1962, Acrylic, screenprint, and graphite pencil on canvas, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

“A Coke is a Coke,” Warhol explained, “and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.” Look carefully at this print: although the bottles are positioned in regular rows which remind us of their mechanical and uniformed nature, they are a little askew. This disturbs the regularity and makes them look individualized and hand-made, on the contrary to their mass production. Oh, Warhol and his irony, we never know if he criticizes consumptionism, glorifies it or just jokes about it.

Hamburgers

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Andy Warhol, Hamburger, 1985-1986, acrylic on linen, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh


Andy Warhol starred in a short episode in Jørgen Leth’s film “66 Scenes from America”, in which he ate a King hamburger with Heinz Ketchup. When he finished, he said: “My name is Andy Warhol and I just finished eating a hamburger”. Leth described this scene as “the artistic essence of Andy Warhol, in all its simplicity”.

Tomato Ketchup

Andy Warhol, Heinz Ketchup, 1964, silkscreen on plywood, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh

After 2D works, Warhol moved on to installation work. He picked a few popular brands, Heinz ketchup, Kellogg’s corn flakes, Mott’s apple juice, Del Monte peaches and Brillo soap pads, and made virtually indistinguishable from originals plywood boxes. He exhibited them in the Stable Gallery and invited collectors to buy them stack by stack. Well, they didn’t sell well, but caused quite a lot of controversy. Nothing unusual, though.


Happy Birthday Andy!

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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.

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