Warhol Characteristics

Many artists have distinguishing qualities which help to set them apart from other artists, and Andy Warhol displays his own distinguishing quality. This quality for Warhol was to deviate beyond the mainstream and go beyond the established limits in a contemporary society of art. Andy Warhol depicted his abstract and nontraditional ideas through the use of various media. The introducer of the avant garde pop art movement of the 1960s, Warhol would strive to depict everyday life while employing techniques of commercial art through his drawings, paintings, and even his films. Warhol introduced the concept of silk screening, pioneering a new form of art that would set the trend for many years to come. In taking an interest in controversial pop art, Warhol would turn his variations of various popular mass media images into a whole new realm of the art world, allowing art to take on a whole new perspective, opening many different interpretations by the American culture. Individuality and the tendency to not conform are key elements of Warhol's works, although Warhol later turned his attention to the mainstream world of narrative cinema by producing a string of controversial experimental films which dealt with such concepts as time and boredom which represented an attack on elitism in a modern day society. Nontraditional themes and controversial themes often characterized a major portion of Warhol's drawings, paintings, and films which have helped him gain recognition throughout his career.
--Krista Olsen

Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 13:18:44 EDT
From: ConnerSF@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: more warhol/boredom

Thanks, Scott, for finding my program notes interesting enough to reprint for the list. On the second night of the Pop Resurrection, my notes for Horse had a sort of conclusion that might serve as an addendum - particularly since it deals more directly with the question of boredom.

>If Warhol's ongoing explorations of the culture of celebrity have often seemed monotonous or pointless to many spectators, it is because these films foreground something endemic to our culture which we would all much prefer to ignore: that the manufacturing of stars, and of the commodified dramas which support and enhance their allure, is only intended for us to the extent that we support the continuing existence of the machinery itself. Within the logic of the big budget spectacle - regardless of whether it comes out of Hollywood or Washington - the individual spectator only counts as a cipher, a statistic in the abstract calculation of potential gains and losses. Where Warhol confronts us directly with a machine-like indifference, he brings us one step closer to the recognition that this indifference has become the fundamental condition of late-capitalist social life.<

I lay on the Frankfurt School with a heavier hand there than I ordinarily would....but if we ever needed a strong dose of Adorno, it was during that whole Clinton thing.
One last minor correction: where "Koran" appeared in the first transcription of my notes, I had written the much less interesting word "form."


David Conner
History of Consciousness
UC Santa Cruz

Andy Warhol