Shot Marylin, piss painting….Who would deny Andy Warhol’s fantasy and innovations? Seeing this exhibition at Palazzo Cipolla, you’ll soak into his life and context, his success and troubles, the start of his career with colorful shoes and the (high) end with the Last Supper scenes. Two years ago Rome hosted another exhibition about Warhol, but it was specific: about his relationship with the media. Because Warhol wasn’t simply an artist, but a media artist, someone who knew how to be in the news and how to use advertising and graphics.
The most representative artist of the second half of the 20th century is again on display here with 150 works from the Brant Foundation, in Greenwich – Connecticut (USA), on show until the end of the summer in Rome after being displayed in Milan. One of the most important collections of artworks by the king of Pop Art, built up by a passionate collector, with a great personality and one of Warhol’s closest friend.
The exhibition illustrates each period of Warhol’s professional life. His debut is as an illustrator for magazines and as a commercial artist for a shoe shop in the 1950s. From 1963 Warhol becomes a pop artist and besides the Marilyns and the Liz, you can admire his most iconic works: the Brillo Boxes and the Flowers, the US dollar bills and the Coke bottles, the Campbell Soups. In 1972 he introduces a new style of painting more gestural and less neutral with the works representing Mao, the Chinese leader.
The exhibition also features very experimental works such as the oxidation – piss painting. While the last works were made in Milan in 1986, reproducing Leonardo’s Last Supper. A very elevated ending, considered where he started from.
The only major Warhol’s icon that you can’t see at Palazzo Cipolla is the yellow banana on the cover of the Velvet Underground’s album but there is really plenty of talent and ingenuity on show.
The son of Slovak immigrants was the top interpreter of the American identity and the man who opened the ‘high’ realm of art to everyone who had an interest in it. A multitask artist: a painter, sculptor, photographer, film director, movie producer and script writer. The quintessential visual artist. But also the best transformer of mass culture into art, of daily objects and commercial product into icons. His works are immediate, direct and simple: anyone can enjoy them.
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