Andy Warhol at Verses Inked
“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.” – P.G. Wodehouse from Adventures of Sally.
Andy Warhol took his fascination on the subject to a whole new level having fallen pray to the wrong end of the instrument. Victim to a fateful gunshot wound in the late sixties, inflicted upon him by radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas, Warhol was plagued by the injury for the rest of his life. On the psychological level, the incident had an even more profound influence on the artist, wherein thirteen years after the incident he released a series of paintings which were to be entitled – Guns and Knives. The Guns depicted in the series, particularly resembled the .22 snub nose pistol, which was used to take aim at him. During the production of these pieces, Warhol is said to have invited friends over to his studio with their firearms. The subsequent polaroid images of the guns would later be immortalized by the artist on the canvas. Long live the Pop Art.
What brings Warhol in trend in 2017?
The world could not be enough. Amidst, the work that need be for the promotion of an Alice Cooper album release, its twenty seventh act since its inception in 69. We have Alice in persona and social profile, Vincent Damon Furnier speaking about his lucky break.
“ Yea, so this more or less beats that feeling you get when you find $20 in an old jacket. “
Read one of Cooper posts with an appropriate cnn.com link.
“ Alice Cooper’s ‘forgotten’ Warhol found after four decades in storage.”
Was the headline to the Cable News Network link. Need we say more.
The piece, by chance discovered among the fabled props from the Alice Cooper concerts, is a silkscreen rendition in classic red and black of an electric chair. An instrument which on its part was a popular prop in its own capacity in Cooper concerts of yore.
No coincidences out here as both Cooper and Warhol had been known to be socially acquainted, perhaps indeed friends during the early 70’s. The painting which was then acquired for a couple of grand is now a million dollar baby in the making. Credit to the mother of Vincent Furnier and her perhaps photographic memories of a rolled painting resting in inventory.
Warhol’s Little Electric Chair, in its red replaced with green imagery, which is said to be the original of which the Cooper’s Warhol is a reproduction, sold at a 2015 auction at Christie’s, New York for a chart topping 15 millions. All of us including Warhol,Cooper or Roger Fedrer could always do with a few honest millions of dollars to show off.
The theme behind the electric chairs is a part of Warhol’s Death and Disaster series of the early 60’s. A period wherein Warhol was dealing with the elements of the darker side, upon been advised by friend and then young art curator Henry Geldzahler, at a lunch at Serendipity, an usual hangout for Warhol of the day. The Death and Disaster series which included a body of somewhat seventy loosely connected works of art, was an attempt on the part of the artist to move away from his all embracing commercial image of soup cans and coke bottles. A period prior to the time of the Gun and Knives series of the 80’s, wherein the artist would take on the subject of the dark side, drawing on experience from his own past.What would come to be known as the Guns and Knives series.
Again no surprises, for one of these guns were reason enough for not just us at Verses Inked, but in fact the aware art community on the whole, to get busy about Andy Warhol. And when t is Andy Warhol, you could rest assure of some Limousines. Now only a few Limousines would be an understatement when talking of Art Basel.
You Have to Talk about Basel!
Speaking of abstract, objective, misplaced preludes; Basel is home to Roger Federer, and since 1970 also host to the extravaganza which today materializes every year as Art Basel. The years since has seen the brand include Miami beach and Hong-Kong into its annual itinerary, expanding into a three times a year, multi-national, age defining art affair.
With over 100,000 in attendance from June 15th -18th , picking on the works of 4000 contemporary artists represented by 291 of the world’s leading galleries.The cornucopia on display ranging from paintings and installations to publications and films, showcasing the works of modern masters, living legends and those up and coming, the artwork on display categorized into exclusive sectors.
Read More – Art Basel, Basel 2017
Among names like Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein August Sander, Fernand Léger, Christopher Wool, Samson Kambalu, Subodh Gupta to name a few at the 47th edition of Art Base, stands the 16”x20” monumentalization of the revolver by Warhol. Making its own space in the Art Unlimited sector, the most spectacular of sections in the exhibition, one of Warhol’s guns is showcased for the viewing pleasure and interest of the visitors.
An acquisition by Mnuchin Gallery New York, at the turn of the millennium, for as per Warhol standards, a modest sum of $12 millions, this 80’s silk screen Warhol, with its surrealistic yellow duplicating effect, and larger than life presence of the .32 snub nose, the same weapon with which the artist was aimed at and critically wounded. This piece sure is a head turner in any time and space. To whom it matters, Steven Mnuchin, who is the son of the gallery owner is a public servant in the exceedingly pro-ammunition Donald Trump administration.
The world still could not have had enough of Andy Warhol. At the VIP preview at Basel, still June 2017, Sweden based art gallery Skarstedt found themselves amassing $30 millions, from an unnamed American private collector for the sale of a Warhol self portrait, done in shades of modest, narcissistic pink, where the artist approaching middle age is depicted sporting an out of bed, shock spikes.