Once upon a time, if I was at a party and Andy Warhol turned up, I knew I was in the right place.
Beyond being lucky enough to be old enough (age is good for something) to have grown up with Pop Art and its exposure to appreciate Andy Warhol as the great leveler of pop culture and celebrity… those nights at Studio 54 didn’t hurt either to realize either that rubbing disco elbows with someone famous is no different than the cute boy across the room.
For me, the timing of attending the preview of the Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art during New York Fashion Week last week raises the obvious question: What would Andy Warhol say amount fashion bloggers? Or, more specifically, “what I wore” bloggers?
I constantly find genius in looking at something that you take for granted and turning it into celebrity- whether for art or marketing– to be fascinating.
Andy Warhol embraced the banal by leveling popular consumer culture into an art form; a celebrity onto itself. And, isn’t that prescient to the way everyday people –fashion bloggers– have created their own self-celebrity by documenting their every outfit by glamourizing the minutia of their day into a cult phenomenon (and sometimes cash cow), aka the blogosphere? It’s kinda marvelous in a whowouddathunk way.
“In the future everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes,” he said, and on the 25th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death, those words could not be more true, and then some.
During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, walking away from the runways both in the ticketholder only lobby to outside Lincoln Center in the free for all promenade is a spectacle onto itself. It’s a showmanship of who can outdo the next in the most flamboyant way simply to get snapped.
A souped up (and we’re not talking Campbell’s although their limited edition Andy Warhol cans at Target are both pretty fab & delish at 75¢ a pop) street style eye candy showdown of the tucked vs real, if you get my drift.
The crazier the better– like the spring sage-grouse strut with a SLR.
This fashion is not merely for art or self-expression‘s sake, it’s for becoming a .jpg in the posterity of self-celebrity. Having that personal red carpet-esque moment in the grand make-believe of Fashion Week.
But who is taking these photos? Well, err, most of the time the posers are the snappers and vise versa. EVERYBODY IS A STAR in their minds eye this week and Lincoln Center is their stage. It’s a magnetized collection of people as both subject and photographer. Warhol had Joe Dallesandro and we have
secret tricks as blogging stars.
Warhol loved plastic idols and used highly staged publicity photos as his source material yet also embraced unedited and chance moments. Then thee were those screen test 16mm films. Today we have haul videos creating their own genre.
“I’m really jealous of everybody who gets their own show on television. I want a show of my own- called Nothing Special,” Andy Warhol said.
Warhol wrote fan letters in his youth. Today we Tweet reality stars in hope of a 140 character or less reply,
Regarding Warhol showcases 45 Warhol works with 100 works by 60 artists, including Richard Avedon, Jeff Koons, Nan Goldin, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Tom Sachs, and Chuck Close.
The exhibition is structured in five thematic sections: “Daily News: From Banality to Disaster,” “Portraiture: Celebrity and Power,” “Queer Studies: Shifting Identities,” “No Boundaries: Business, Collaboration, and Spectacle,” and “Consuming Images: Appropriation (the practice of borrowing an image from an existing source & applying it to a different purpose), Abstraction, and Seriality.”
From Warhol on we reevaluate how we see the banal be it Tom Sachs’ “Chanel” chain saw, Damien Hirst’s medicine cabinet to the way Warhol airbrushed and removed the flaws to celebrate the grandiose of his subjects in contrast to the way Richard Avedon showed their vulnerabilities in a moment of introspection, like his portrait of Truman Capote.
But what would Andy Warhol say about the genre of fashion bloggers today? It is thought provoking. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
>> Outside Lincoln Center & Regarding Warhol:
Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years
September 18—December 31, 2012
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, NY
Photos: FocusOnStyle & The Metropolitan Museum of Art