Andy Warhol Pop Art
Was Criticized & Admired

After his commercial art established him, the Andy Warhol Pop art work we are familiar did not come easy to him and nor was he the first to produce paintings in the genre. The Pop Art movement was underway in New York City without him and he very much wanted to be in the center of that artistic scene.

The Campbells Soup Can Poster Prints
Once he gained a foothold with the Campbell’s Soup cans and movie star silk screen portraits such as Marilyn Monroe he was on his way. The uniqueness about his prints of everyday items was a critic’s lament “Warhol’s painting are potentially reproducible…this casts doubt on the producer’s sole authorship.” Most artists would likely defend their “sole authorship” but not Andy Warhol. In fact he took the opposite tack saying “I think somebody should be able to do all my paintings for me.” His uniqueness was, ironically, the fact that his art could be easily reproduced by someone else.

Machine Made Art Controversy
His biography says the first Andy Warhol Pop Art show at a major New York art gallery called Stable Gallery sold everything. Yet, he was still criticized because there was the perception that anybody could do what Andy did. Andy agreed. Time magazine interviewed him and grilled him on the issue. Again, instead of defending his art he agreed with the accusations. “The things I want to show are mechanical. Machines have less problems. I want to be a machine, wouldn’t you?”

Themes to Shock Audiences
The silk screen method he used did not have the brush strokes other artists had and the canvases style had cold austere look. The subject matter began to take on death. He did a newspaper with the headline “129 die in jet”, another was an electric chair, still another of a burning car. Many art fans were unimpressed and were not interested in the United States but in Europe they were popular. Because of the subject matter in the series he was accused of just doing the art to shock and make money.

Andy's Movies
The silk screen canvas images were not the only Andy Warhol pop art he created in the 1960s. He began to make movies and they were not at all like anything the big Hollywood studios were producing. One famous movie he made was of the Empire State Building. The camera was on a tripod pointed at the building for 30 minutes, that’s it. Another called “Tarzan and Jane Regained…Sort of” was entirely made in his room at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The Factory
His quantity of film output was enormous but the content confused audiences. He made many of the films at his studio called the Factory which was a large warehouse space painted entirely in silver that became a very popular hangout.

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