That Andy Warhol’s best Factory product was a masterpiece made from his own person all critics generally approve – yet to what degree can we extrapolate it to produce a statement such as the following, which claims the world’s lot of genuinely prodigious artists do the same – make works of art of themselves ? Surely a man nicknamed Drella can’t constitute an argument sufficient for validating this.
Well, since from time immemorial sculptors, painters, composers, writers & co., however introvert or gregarious, did nothing in this regard but showcase their personality, character, and even physique by ways quite similar to those employed in producing their works, why shouldn’t we consider Warhol’s case emblematic? Alongside Vincent van Gogh, Dali, Picasso, Artemisia Gentileschi et cetera – each a prominent figure boasting to have mesmerized the public with pictures on canvas as well as self-portraits ex personal flesh and blood – the ‘Campbell’s Soup’ maverick is a paragon of artist turned masterpiece. Because, not much unlike these memorable individuals above enumerated, he took a raggedy, bashful young man, dressed him up in his ‘Andy costume‘ and thus gave birth to a whole new symbol. Because he generated a persona he could subsequently interpret to gargantuan fame.
People are just engrossed by the spectacle a living work-of-art provides. And it’s all the more captivating to watch a man renowned for immortalizing various subjects in marble or written word do the reflexive thing, contrive to become his very magnum opus. Midas gilding Midas. The icon-maker resolving to act out the idol.
The artist as his greatest work.
Wouldn’t we all feel tempted to do that?
Patricia Beykrat – the Roving Aesthete