I wanted to pull together all my photos, posts, and thoughts about Andy Warhol into one post as a closure to my study of him. If you're new around here, a few years ago I read Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon. In it, he suggests climbing your family--study an artist you admire and then study an artist they admired, slowly going back in time and up your creative family tree.
At first I mostly only studied the artists I admire. Andy is the first artist I've studied that wasn't one of my favorite artists. I chose him because I'd studied Jean Michel Basquiat last year. Warhol and Basquiat often collaborated and had a mutual respect for each other. I wasn't a huge fan of Warhol's work but found his life pretty interesting.
All that pretty much changed once I began to really study him. I started out with some notes in my sketchbook and a portrait.
Some of my favorite quotes of his:
"Everything is beautiful."
"The idea is not live forever, it is to create something that will."
"I think everybody should like everybody."
I played around with some transfers in an attempt to mimic printmaking. And then I played with Polaroids.
I really got into his paint by number series and spent a LONG time on creating my own paint by number piece.
I got a chance to see an exhibit of his work at Crystal Bridges. It's funny...the day before my visit I was talking to another artist. I would consider him a successful artist, someone with much more experience than me. I mentioned that I was excited to see the Warhol exhibit. He thought that maybe I was too late (almost, I was there on the last day) and told me that it wasn't a big deal, "not really worth seeing anyway." I think my jaw dropped. I was SO excited to see this exhibit. On the other hand, just a few years I probably would have said the same thing. Sometimes you just don't appreciate art until you really study it. [Since then I've learned to never assume what kind of art someone might like, you just never know.]
[decided to paint the panda at the top of this post today after looking back at Andy's endangered animal series]
Then most recently I did another quick little portrait of him and dressed as him at Halloween.
That seemed like a fitting end. I got so many ideas from this process and felt inspired to make so many things, some that were similar to Warhol and some that were completely different. I've been a bit of a creative funk the last few days and I know it's time to move on to a new artist. Nothing seems to get me out a funk better than studying something or someone. So here's to a fresh start.