Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Take your pic

When Te Papa opens its Andy Warhol exhibition in June watch for its rules about whether or not visitors can take photographs. Of all the artists in the world Warhol must surely be the one who would have least objection to people copying his images seeing as how so many of them were copied in the first place. OK, we're being ingenuous. We've just visited a Warhol exhibition (in the Pittsburgh Museum which will supply the work for the Te Papa exhibition) and they absolutely forbid photography. A small army of student guards has been enlisted and they follow you round like lost puppies carefully positioning themselves to cover all works at all times. This seems particularly pointless given the integration of the phone camera into everyday life. When we visited there were a number of people (ourselves included) taking sneak pics whenever they could. We like to think we were all encouraged by one of the wall texts in the exhibition: “Warhol’s spirit of radical innovation and the notion of the artist as a savvy consumer of images have been an ongoing source of inspiration for subsequent generations of artist.” They may just have well added "and everyone else in the digital era."
Image: a photo we took at the Andy Warhol Museum showing Warhol’s 1964 paintings of Jackie Kennedy. The imagery for the painting came via a newspaper photograph that was converted into silk screens to create this serial portrait.