Tag: Pop Art Project

Andy Warhol finds a friend in 1985: The Amiga

Andy Warhol finds a friend in 1985: The Amiga

Commodore International planned a theatrical performance for the 1985 introduction of the Amiga 1000 home computer. The July 1985 event at Lincoln Center included Warhol and Debbie Harry, the rock ‘n’ roll legend and lead vocalist of the band Blondie. In front of a big crowd, Andy Warhol “painted” a portrait of Debbie Harry with the new program ProPaint. He became a Commodore brand ambassador. Later, he used the Amiga to make a series of digital drawings, including a crude Campbell’s Soup Can, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus with a third eye, and some very red flowers. Warhol wished to print and distribute these images as artworks, but this dream never cam true. The data was retrieved from a floppy disk by reverse engineering the original software in 2014. Warhol’s creative embrace of modern technology is exemplified by a film of his launch performance and his computer-based artworks. The film is available online as well as in the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

Plastic & Pop – An uneasy alliance today?

Plastic & Pop – An uneasy alliance today?

Artists of the Avant-Garde started using human-made materials like celluloid for sculpture as early as 1916 (Naum Gabo’s Woman’s Head). In the 1950s the commercial use of plastics exploded. Consequentially it became a material of Pop Art sculptures and multiples of the 1960s. Claes Oldenburg (*1929) started to use PVC, Vynil and Dacron for his soft art pieces. A good example: the somehow touching 120 x 120 cm Switches Sketch (1964).

Warhol and Plastics

Andy Warhol’s second show at the Leo Castelli gallery in April 1966 included floating silver pillows. The materials were metalized plastic film, size 91,4 x 129,5 cm each, helium/air-filled. A precise gas mixture enabled the shiny plastic balloons to float off the floor. It prevented them from sticking to the ceiling. They are still displayed in museums today. It is said that Warhol “wanted to end his painting career with those silver pillows, to let them fly away from the rooftop, but they didn’t really fly away. It was a grand gesture; he was a master of the grand gesture.” (Ronnie Cutrone)

James Rosenquist and Advertising

James Rosenquist wanted to make a statement about the piling up of advertising images of a modern consumer society, also of its objects and packaging. A pyramid seemed the adequate image for that kind of dump. In 1971 he created the multiple ‚Mastaba‘ (early Egyptian pyramid) as a lithographic print (76 x 56.1 cm) with a mounted acrylic hour glass containing plastic (!) beads showing the passing of time – or showing it running out quickly, as one might interpret the piece of art today.

Just a quote from the website of the ‘Popart project’ (Preservation Of Plastics ARTefacts research project, funded by the EU commision) to outline today’s problem: “Unfortunately many plastics are simply not designed to last forever and start to degrade almost as soon as they are put on display. If one combines the ubiquity of plastics in artworks and other museum objects with their relatively short life expectancy, and the currently low level of plastic conservation expertise, then it is clear that a massive problem faces the museum community.”

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