Andy Warhol – genius consumer
In Europe and the East, people like to bargain – buy and sell, sell and buy – they are traders by nature. Americans are not so interested in selling – in fact, they will rather throw out than sell. What they really like to do is buy – people, money, countries (The Philosophy of Andy Warhol).
One day, Andy Warhol (originally – Andrew Warhola, the fourth child in a family of immigrants from Eastern Slovakia) was a mediocre advertiser and woke up as a famous artist. He became the leader of American pop art thanks to the series of paintings created on the eve, which depicted bottles of Coca-Cola, various canned food and Campbell’s soup cans. It was simple and primitive, but critics said that the works of the young artist skillfully revealed the vulgarity, emptiness and facelessness of the Western culture of mass consumption.
Warhol did not argue with critics, but continued to shock the public. Soon he created portraits of American idols (Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and others), using awful acid tones. The public liked it. Then Andy invited his close friends to urinate on his canvases before he sold them. For one of the exhibitions Warhol dyed his hair silver and presented himself as his own work.
25-hour amateur film shot by Warhol without a script and without a story, with naked actors wandering aimlessly became the apogee. And it was a success! Consumers of art were delighted. Warhol became a star of the American subculture of the 60s, but remained faithful to the cans of tomato soup that raised him to the top.
In 1968, the feminist Valerie Solanas (a fan of the artist) shot her “teacher” and seriously wounded him. Andy survived, but remained an invalid and, as he later said, “lost some spark”.
The rest of his life the artist did not part with the tape recorder. “I have no memory”, he told. “Every day is a new day for me, because I do not remember yesterday. Every minute is like the first minute of my life. I’m trying to remember, but I cannot. My mind is like a tape recorder with a single button: Delete”.
Andy Warhol died in 1987. He left dozens of canvases. His glory has not faded even now, and the cost of his paintings confirms the thesis – Americans love to buy. For example, Andy’s work Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener was sold on November 10, 2010 at Christie’s auction in New York for $ 23.9 million, and his Coca-Cola was sold for 35 million 362.5 thousand dollars.