Everyone can have his or her manifesto of America. But Andy Warhol, as a pop artist, gave a total different and negative manifesto of what is America. In his opinion, America is really beautiful, and is nothing but beautiful.
He expressed his negative feelings through several things. Mass Media breaks people’s fantasy of faraway places. Politicians are just working to make goods for their own. Public opinion of being poor is always criticizing, leaving no room for real creation and innovation to grow. Modern technology is destroying the living environment for human being, free stuff are making things meaningless and homeless people is everywhere, “America” name is proudly used for the united states and mass consumption is making everybody equal, and the concept of “now” taking up all the thoughts of people’s minds, giving no opportunity for people to think about the something really, really far away.
It’s really interesting to see how Andy view the world in a totally different way as we do. How we interpret the world is by what we see, and how we relate the things together to be a total image. Andy was growing up in a immigrants family from Carpatho-Rushyn. It’s a pretty unstable status because of the different culture background between his family and the outside American world. Inside family, there were frequent religious ceremonies. Outside in America, there are endless things waiting for him to explore, among which movie, a special form of mass media which convey meanings through visualization. Like Andy said, “they show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.” This interpret of movie decides his feelings about America, everything is based on what they see. I think this is also the reason Andy is so obsessed with art study. He went to Carnegie Museum of Art to study art. He got a camera at 9 and used it to make great photos. Besides what the outside exerted to him, his neural problems also lead to his unique view of the world. He got choea and hypomelancholia at very small age. At that time, he drew a lot, which is an important period for Andy to connect his own “images” and “words ” together to form his own manifesto of America. This manifesto still remained in his minds until when he goes to Carnegie Mellon University and got a master degree in poster design. This gave him a job in poster design, a job which joins art with money. Andy mentioned that an ideal world should be “okay to work on things that they won’t pay you for, because that’s how inventions happen and things progress.” In contrast, this society is “putting a price tag on intelligence and talent”, not respecting poor at all. In this way, Andy’s images of America are always about what he saw, not containing any deeper meaning.
1. What do you thing of Andy’s meaning by “America is really beautiful”? Does he really things that America is beautiful?
2. See page 11 of the reading. Why did Andy put Aphrodite into American fashion clothes?