The book ‘Andy Warhol Images’ introduces Warhol’s art career and his various works by using quotation of Warhol and his close people. Among many quotations, the part, “I feel I represent the U.S in my art”, was quite interesting because the evaluation on his works of art is still not that favorable even in theses days according to the introduction of the book. It was ironic that he thought himself as an art representative of U.S even he get a completed estimation. Warhol is definitely one of the representative artist of U.S in now days, however as you can see when you heard of his atelier’s name ‘Factory’, he multiplied his works using silkscreen unlike traditional artists. In his process of making, the works are always same whoever printed them. On the other hands, artist’s unique and professional hands mean nothing in his works. The artist said that his work means nothing and he just tried to entertaining people, however, I think his choice of the way and multiplied subjects seems like imply something.
The most of the materials that he usually treated are made on a mass production basis like images of mass media or the Cambell’s soup cans, which do not require deep understanding on arts or sensitive souls. Image of Marilyn Monroe was also one of the mass media as the author mentioned his first real portrait was ‘Self-Portrait’. All his materials were related with mass production and his method of making the works also resembles mass production system. This image reminds Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. Lot of people select Coca-Cola and McDonald’s as a representative of U.S’s food, but it is actually very unusual phenomenon. In common sense, for example, Kimchi is representative food in case of Korea and the best Kimchi usually made by a professional with traditional and special method. Moreover, Kimchi tasted different by district and cook’s individuality. However, in case of representative of U.S, there is no professional on making coke and burgers or special menus in unique ways and they just have same size and taste. In addition, the food is deeply connected with the company’s name and large capital unlike other country’s food: sushi, fish and chips and so on. Warhol’s works are similar with those food and company, because they are distinguished from the works such as ‘the Mona Lisa’ and they can be duplicated whenever and wherever including some parts of big capitalism. His art closely resemble Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.
This characteristic could be understood with a word ‘Nothing’. Those brands and Andy Warhol are both special symbol and identity, however there are no particular souls and foods and works just duplicated infinitely, which means they are eventually nothing. Warhol said his works means nothing but they shows us his American feature such as mass production and capitalism. I think that U.S’s identity is strong and it has lots of representative icons, but the principal that bind the society is ‘Nothing’. U.S has more diversity than any other country and the society is based on individualism that respect other’s difference. This would be the mechanism why mass production and uniformity represent the U.S and it helps this country with diversity to become a one country. Whether it is a authentic or a fake, whether it is a only thing or duplicated thing, the characteristic of ‘Nothing’ support everything of U.S.A and show the country’s own feature.
1 Even Warhol’s characterful ways are multiplying and a mass production, he drew his self-portrait as a real portrait not using his technic. What is the meaning of this ironic and difference between them?
2 Warhol was very sensitive on fashionable subjects such as ‘Birmingham Race Riot’ and ‘Mao’. If he worked on these days’ issues, what would he choose?