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.


Anonymous said...

That museum has been on my list of places to visit for quite some time, so I'm glad to read your review of it. I seem to like Andy Warhol much more as time goes by than I did when he was making these iconic artworks and being a personality.

Jen said...

I think that may be true of the actual food, too - it wasn't so much about the creating of it, as it was about the selling of it in mass quantities.