Monday, December 01, 2008
Andy Warhol and Food
Saturday we visited the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The top floor of the museum (which has 7 floors plus a basement) illustrates the images that Warhol took off from. It's full of kitchen gadgets and their packaging, as well as examples of his early work as a commercial artist. A TV set even plays the Veg-o-Matic commercials from the 1950s. Plastic food storage containers decorated with red flowers, ads for things like knives, and all kinds of food prep images are included. I think the objects are from Warhol's extraordinary collections of stuff. (I remember after he died that a lot of it was sold, but there's so much...)
On the next couple of floors going down, one sees what he did with these ideas -- there's much more in this imagery than just Campbell's Soup cans and plywood boxes painstakingly painted with logos to look like they came from Heinz, General Foods, or Campbells! I don't have anything profound to say, since someone else no doubt said it 40 years ago, though I do remember the first time I ever saw any Pop Art at a museum in Amsterdam in the 1960s. Every time I see this, I feel again that the grocery store is a wealth of visuals.
My conclusion is that the art seems to have very little to do with actual food or with eating it -- just with selling it. Interesting.