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Andy Warhol (Penguin Lives Biographies)by Wayne Koestenbaum
Synopses & Reviews
and#160;From his life to his work, Andy Warhol is an enigma. The leading figure of the pop art movement, Warhol created paintings, films, performance art, and his famous studio, the Factory, in New York City. Fans, aficionados, enthusiasts, experts, and critics alike have tried to make sense of Warhol, creating a wealth of knowledge and#160;and speculation. Blake Stimson builds on this project in this gorgeously illustrated book, which brings new attention to the philosophical and creative influences behind Warholandrsquo;s life and work.
Citizen Warhol leads us through the artistandrsquo;s youth, from his religiously infused childhood and adolescence in Pittsburgh to his university training at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he was profoundly affected by Carnegieandrsquo;s industrial-age theory of art. Stimson recounts Warholandrsquo;s brief but formative dalliance with the guilt-riddled sensibility and decadent lifestyle of Aubrey Beardsley, an English illustrator whose drawings emphasize the grotesque and the erotic. In addition, Stimson describes how the Byzantine-influenced religious rituals of Warholandrsquo;s childhood affected his relationships with the figures who starred in his films and staffed the Factory, as well as relating the lessons he learned from his triumphs as a commercial artist working in a world still beholden to the Red Decade ideals of the 1930s. More than any other artist, Stimson shows, Warhol represents the unresolved contradiction between the ideal of the citizen and that of the consumer, an incongruity people continue to struggle with today.
and#160;From Lonesome Cowboy to Campbell's Soup I, this book provides readers with deeper insight into the meaning and legacy of Warholandrsquo;s life and art.
The sixties were the ?sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll? era, and Andy Warhol was its cultural icon. Painter, filmmaker, photographer, philosopher, Warhol was both celebrity and celebrant, the man who put the ?pop? in art. His studio, The Factory, where his free-spirited cast of ?superstars? mingled with the rich and famous, was ground zero for the explosions that rocked American cultural life. And yet for all his fame, Warhol was an enigma: a participant in the excesses of his time who remained a faithful churchgoer, a nearly inarticulate man who was also a great aphorist (?In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes?), an artist whose body of work sizzles with sexuality but whose own body was a source of shame and self-hatred.
In his bravura account of Warhol?s life and work, scholar and culture critic Wayne Koestenbaum gets past the contradictions and reveals the man beneath the blond wig and dark glasses. Nimbly weaving brilliant and witty analysis into an absorbing narrative, Koestenbaum makes a convincing case for Warhol as a serious artist, one whose importance goes beyond the sixties. Focusing on Warhol?s provocative, powerful films (many of which have been out of circulation since their initial release), Koestenbaum shows that Warhol?s oeuvre, in its variety of form (films, silkscreens, books, ?happenings?), maintains a striking consistency of theme: Warhol discovered in classic American images (Brillo boxes, Campbell soup cans, Marilyn?s face) a secret history, the erotic of time and space.
About the Author
and#160;Blake Stimson is professor of art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of The Pivot of the World: Photography and Its Nation.
Table of Contents
Preface: The Citizenship of Artists
Introduction: America Really is the Beautiful
Part 1: Interiors
1. Jesus Christ
2. Andrew Carnegie
3. Shirley Temple
4. Aubrey Beardsley
5. Ben Shahn
Part 2: Exteriors
6. Andy Paperbag
7. The Nothingness Himself
9. Citizen Warhol
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