Warhol’s Wide World
This podcast/acoustiguide provides insight into thirty-six out of the many portraits made by Andy Warhol during his lifetime. Portraits (still or moving) done of himself and people, dead, alive, all with varying degrees of fame whether well-known or only known in certain communities, to shoes, to even symbols of products such as the Coca-Cola design. If they did not have fame before Warhol, they had fame now.
They even talk about his magazine Interview. Art, class, celebrity, and commerce collides in Warhol’s world of art, and in clever ways to boot. The Raphael section attests to this. Listening to this, I sort of notice (and already suspected) how Warhol, a man who up poor, effortlessly managed to have people of means gravitate towards him. All about the “who you know” indeed. And rich people just passed him along to other rich people.
Warhol walked between the mainstream and the fringe and put them together his world. Also, he used this sort of cheap DIY execution such as Polaroids while taking photos of famous. He created this contradiction of high glamor meets low tech machinery in his work such as his photos of expensive shoes. Makes sense since he started making silk screens of other people’s work. In his portraits, Warhol dissects the concept of fame, as he strips a lot of illusion away in his work. With his photos of troubled times and criminals, he looks at events made famous. The dark and light of fame. From his first self-portrait at twenty years old to later, they describe the work and give interpretations and a historical background to it. Such as what kind of material he used to what acted as a first foray into a medium such as his portraits of Ethel Scull acting as a catalyst into the world of the camera.
All in all, a very nondescript podcast that has no pictorial avatar nor does it give the paintings themselves when you download this series. Since the French Museum put together this acoustiguide, this acts as a guide for English speakers, but one can hear a French person talking as if from far away. This series acts as a Warhol 101 for people who do not know anything about the Pop Art maestro. Some facts they give I knew already. However, when they talk about Warhol’s feelings for Jean Michel Basquiat and the art created out of it, it did surprise me and left this sense of repulsion of what Warhol used when creating his work. Sadly, they made some mistakes. When you click on the Giovanni Agnelli podcast, you will instead hear about Jane Holzer. When you click on the Jane Holzer piece, it talks about her again. They did compose some cool musical accompaniments, mostly have a guitar-heavy pop rock sound with a somewhat sixties garage band vibe. They act as intros and outros to the short lectures. The longest one goes slightly over two minutes.