Artists of the 20th Century: Andy Warhol
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Born in Pittsburgh to Czechoslovakian immigrants, Andy Warhol graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology with a degree in pictorial design. Following this, he moved to New York where he found steady work as a commercial artist.
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Here's a sample of the narration (I might not get it exact, as I watched the DVD a week ago):
"Marilyn, Number 3. 1963. Marilyn, Number 5. 1963. Liz, Number 7. 1959. Marilyn, Number 2. 1961. Elvis, Number 4. 1966."
And so on, and so on, and so on.
The only thing missing was the interminable "beep" that alerted a bored kid on the AV squad to advance the filmstrip to the next frame.
Warhol died in 1987. Not in 1798. There IS some actual film footage of the man, that given the DVD format, COULD have been used.
He led a rather interesting life. More than a few minutes could have been spent discussing it, and rather than showing still images of artwork he had created, I would rather have seen more photographs of him and his family.
While he was known for producing multiple versions of the same artwork, perhaps a little more effort could have been made in showing the evolution from one image to the next. (Like a smooth cross-fade from one image to the next.) I didn't understand the point of showing 3 Marilyns, then 2 of Liz, then an Elvis, then back to Marilyn, and so on, ad nauseum.
All in all, the only reason I'm going 2 stars on this, is the fact that I thought he was a uniquely interesting character and I can't bring myself to hang a 1-star review on anything associated with him!
I watched this DVD a few times, and it did get better as I got used to constant references to skulls, a suicide, death, religion and endless praise, but the last time, I noticed that the other artist Andy allowed to do the extra doodling on the ten boxing punching bags that Andy had decorated with pictures of Christ from the famous Last Supper painting had written `Judge Judge Judge' on one or more of the bags. If people actually punch these bags, that might mess up the paint, wouldn't it? I would hate to have anyone tell me that I was confused by my reactions to this, but looking at these exhibits on a DVD does not give the average viewer much opportunity to do anything much worse than whatever it shows.
Andy died in 1987, a few years older than I am now and much more successful, but I think I made a more comic portrait of Chairman Mao by adding floppy arms and a bunch of bananas, as if when Mao was blamed for what happened in Nam, American politicians seemed to think: If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger bunch of bananas. We sent 500,000 American bananas at a time to Asia in the years 1967, 1968, and a bit of 1969, before Nixon made the big announcement about the 250,000 churches, pagodas, and temples that the Marines were building `This year alone . . .' (Press Conference, December 8, 1969).
There aren't many women shown on this DVD, just the usual Jackie, Marilyn, and Liz portraits, and a portrait of Andy's mother, but the DVD does explain how openly gay some of Andy's tender drawings were. The flock of birds forming a star for Christmas cards might still seem inspirational to some people. One of the `Andy Warhol' signatures shown was done by his mother on the front of the card. The art which was chosen for the funeral program is explained well enough in the middle of the DVD so that is not as surprising at the end as it was the first time. Is it too late to get one of those punching bags?