In Andy Warhol’s book, America, he focus on expressing his own ideas about The United States of America. As a Pop Artist he talks about the day life aspects, one example is how America lives focusing just in the present. Americans are so busy that they cannot think of anything else, just in the now. This way of life expanded with the years, it is stronger than was in the sixties as well as the media. The media has the power to dictate what people should eat, what they should wear, even how they should live. It is not coincidence that with the years more people want to be famous than they wanted 40 years ago. Today, the media create an image of how great the life of a celebrity would be. Behind the screens, they show a perfect life, a life that make other people (non famous) want to be like them, to chase a life that they see on the screens, because everything that is showed is so great and perfect and just can be better, never worst. Warhol declares that “no matter how perfectly someone’s got their public personality going, it’s never as good as their real life” (28). Warhol critics it but also admire it. Pursuing this fantasy, people stop to make plans or thinking about how their life was before they start to focus just in make the TV life style becomes their life style.
This desire of live the now can be seen in pop stars lives too. Through the years the celebrities may lost their fame in the area that they were famous, so they decide to switch for another area. Warhol gives Grace Jones as example, “she was a model, then a singer, then a nightclub entertainer, and now she’s an actress” (33). These changes may happen because more medias are emerging, they need more news, more famous people to talk about. It is easy to see that this strategy continues nowadays. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an example of it. He started working as a professional bodybuilder, he won the Mr. Universe title, after it, he started a new carrier as an actor and become known in whole world. A few years ago, his area of work changed drastically and he became the governor of California in 2003. He was never out of the spotlight.
Warhol critique goes beyond this power to mold people lives, the media can consume your dreams too. In the past, the television did not show the world the way they show today, so people dreamed more of how some place would be, but nowadays people do not need to open their door to know what they will see outside. If you want to see how the Amazonia rainforest is, you just need to turn the TV on in the National Geography Channel. If you want to visit a city you can search online how is the place. However, there is some people that still wanting to go and see with their own yes, but you can be sure that it will not be the same as if she/he see this place for the first time in their lives. Television and internet bring a lot of different kind of information, people just need to change the channel.
About the fact that media can take you to places that you don’t know yet, Warhol says “I think the more information you get, the less fantasy you have” (11) and “the mystery and romance of the faraway places are pretty much gone” (10). The media can influence the way of life of everyone even the celebrities, and this influence is very important because it molds our way of life, and this criticism is present in Warhol’s art.
1 – Is this book America just an away that Warhol found to express his own thoughts and show the “America” or criticize the Americans way of life?
2 – There is two picture of Michael Jackson in the book, why do you think that he chose these pictures and didn’t talk about them?