After his assassination attempt Warhol made a radical turn in his process of producing art. He spent most of his time making individual portraits of the rich and famous of his time like Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson or Brigitte Bardot. He moved out of the factory and surrounded himself with conservative business people instead of the people that hung on the edge of society.
Warhol’s become an entrepreneur and started Interview magazine and even a night club. In 1974 Warhol published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. In this book he describes what art is. …”Making money is art, and working art and good business is the best art”..
Warhol began the ‘Death and Disaster’ series in the same year as his first celebrity portraits and the two sets are often considered companion pieces. The youngest president ever elected in the United States, John F Kennedy (JFK ) and his wife Jacqueline (Jackie) quickly became American icons — they were young, glamorous and stylish. Warhol’s depictions of Jackie Kennedy following JFK ’s death can be considered as both celebrity portraits and images of a grieving widow. Red Jackie 1964 Red Jackie 1964
Warhol’s experimentation with photo-silk-screening occurred in the same year as Marilyn Monroe’s death in 1962. Both events marked significant points in his career — the Marilyn images herald his fascination with death and tragedy, while the photo-silkscreen method was to become Warhol’s signature technique.
Warhol’s Electric Chairs are the most iconic images in his ‘Death and Disaster’series. His first painting on this subject appeared in 1963, when the deathpenalty was a contentious issue of public debate and the New York State chairwas decommissioned shortly afterwards.
Warhol’s chairs were based on a 1953media photograph of the death chamber in the Sing Sing Penitentiary in NewYork, showing the chair in which the suspected Russian spies Ethel and JuliusRosenberg were to be executed. His Electric Chair works include large serialcompositions or groups of multiple smaller canvases or screen prints, printedon monochromatic backgrounds of silver, orange, lavender, blue or red.
Thelack of human presence and the sense of hypnotic stillness combine toincrease the emotion and horror of these works. In a 1971 retrospectiveWarhol chose to have his art works displayed against his mechanicallyreplicated and psychedelic Cow wallpaper, creating a strange juxtaposition ofchilling social realism and kitsch.
The source images for the ‘Death and Disaster’ series were a mixture of contemporary press cuttings from magazines and newspapers, and photographs from the 1950s such as those used for the Marilyn and Electric Chair paintings. Saturday Disaster 1964.
Warhol’s selection of pre-existing images of people or events was central to his work. It acknowledged the ‘reality’ of the dramatically expanding media environment of the 1960s and the extent to which it effected the social, political and cultural life of America. Orange Disaster 1963.
During the early 1980s he adopted more traditional themes such as still life, religious subjects and self-portraits.
His Last Supper paintings were some of the last paintings Warhol completed. They engage with death, like many of his late works, but through an overtly religious theme. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous wall painting and another Renaissance master, Raphael, provides the model for Raphael Madonna – $6.99. Warhol has reduced these iconic works to schematic outline drawings and introduced advertising logos and price tags — reminding us that traditions, beliefs and histories can also be commodities.
Warhol died in 1987 from complications after a gall bladder operation. More than 2000 people attended his funeral. Warhol was a religious man which was not a well known fact at the time.
The art world today reflects many of the ideas, methods and materials initiated by the Pop Art movement. In Untitled, 1991, Barbara Kruger uses the iconography of the American flag and hard edge graphics to pose a series of provocative questions about American cultural values. Barbara Kruger, Untitled, 1991 Courtesy: Mary Boone Gallery, NY In Rabbit, 1986, artist Jeff Koons cast a mass-produced inflatable Easter bunny in highly polished stainless steel. The sculpture became iconic of art in the 1980s. Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986, Jeff Koons