Monday, February 4, 2008
I went to a photography gallery today which was having a show of Andy Warhol's portraits and landscapes. To be completely honest if I had not known that the photos were created by Warhol I would've assumed them crap that any intro to photography student could have made. So I'm not sure if that makes me some sort of art snob who accepts that the work is worthwhile simply because of who it was created by. But then I thought more about it .. because I couldnt completely write myself off as being that much of a snob. I started thinking about everything I know about Andy Warhol (thank god for prof. Burn's art history class).. and I remembered how he was so into pop culture and the idea of people as machines. Soon I was able to look past poorly burned corners of pictures and see what they were actually about. There were mulptiple photos of stacks of produce taken at any random supermarket.. but they weren't like the photos of produce that I (and probably every photo student ever) had taken . They actually had meaning. They were about repetition within our world and all of the good and bad things that go along with it (poorly stated, I know, but bare with me). Then there were tons of photos of commercial signs from throughout new york, and so I thought about his obsession with celebrities and pop culture. According to an article that the gallery had on display Warhol was a genius who successfully predicted our current obsession with temporary fame due to reality tv and all the other horrible ways that anonymous people become celebrities overnight (basically he not only understood the popculture of his time, but he understand the pop culture of our time before it even happened). All of his photos ended up making me question WHAT IS ART?!? and I really think that what seperates a poorly printed photo of apples created by Warhol and one that I made.. is that there is so much meaning and thought and prediction behind it, whereas I have to admit that most of the time I just photograph what looks "cool". I also must admit that it felt pretty good to finally understand some meaning behind a piece of art and why it was created, because I rarely ever understand those sorts of things. Don't know if all this rambling has a point.. just wanted to share my thoughts as I was thinking them.