Local Culture

A Lifetime of Fame

“Andy Warhol: The Last Decade” at the Brooklyn Museum

by Chris Evangelista   |   Jun 30, 2010

A Lifetime of Fame

“Origin of Cotton” (Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts)

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Earlier centuries left behind works of the most imaginative painters ever to exist, such as Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso. All gave the world breathtaking masterpieces, but none were quite as famous as the man who made advertising a form of art. He made a can of Campbell’s Soup look hip, a bottle of Coke look glamorous and got people curious about the electric chair. He is as much a pop icon as Michael Jackson or Madonna. The Brooklyn Museum is paying the visual art guru tribute by hosting “Andy Warhol: the Last Decade,” an exhibition showcasing some 50 works from the 1970s-mid-‘80s.

Warhol was enchanted by the world of art from an early age. He worked as an illustrator at various publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and The New Yorker, and even contributed Christmas card illustrations for Tiffany & Co. It was during this time that he became obsessed with Hollywood and its stars, and he soon began to use the process of silk-screening to paint celebrities he admired, such as Marilyn Monroe and Mick Jagger. After a friend suggested Warhol paint what he liked, he gave her $50 and did began working. The end result: A can of Campbell’s Soup in 32 adaptations and money—200 one-dollar bills to be exact.

After an attempted assassination by Valerie Solanas in 1968, Warhol returned to hand painting. His rejuvenated interest in the technique resulted in the “Reversals, Retrospective and Shadow” series. Most of his later work revolved around a religious theme, incorporating items like crosses, Easter eggs and praying hands. After Warhol’s death in 1987, over 100 paintings from “The Last Supper” series were discovered. The exhibit at the museum explores Andy Warhol’s creative mind during the last years of his life, giving his not-as-popular works of art more than 15 minutes of fame.

This Saturday, July 3, Society HAE is hosting “The Factory 2010,” a Warhol-inspired party with many of the ‘80’s greatest hits, like Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” No word on if they’ll play anything by Lou Reed.

“Andy Warhol: the Last Decade” will be presented at the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway) from June 18-September 12, 2010. Visit the museum’s website for more information or call 718-638-5000.