Andy Warhol was an artistI was familiar with growing up because of a few select images that I had seen over and over again. I think you probably have seen them as well. His repetitive silkscreened pieces caused controversy in the same way Duchamp’s Readymades did. The public was not ready for basic objects to be treated as art. Although the bowl of fruit still life has always been accepted, for whatever reason, the obsession with the ordinary is what set Warhol, and to some extent, Duchamp apart. The Whitney show is up until March 31st, and does show a number of soup cans, Marilyn silkscreens and green coke bottles, but it really features a large amount of pieces that were off my radar. The pop artist’s works were like a nice time capsule; he had an obsession with the current culture of the time, and the narrative of the show was quite revealing. There was an entire wall that focused on renderings – mostly in gold – of shoes of a number of celebrities, a series of paintings focused solely on shadows, and a look at the process from polaroid to silkscreen. There are many opportunities to watch video after video of him creating installations, eating burgers, hosting his television shows. You can watch a video of him pulling a silkscreen of a giant Marlon Brando piece, and yes, there is a gallery of a large number of the portraits that clearly became his signature style. I loved that his mom was in the middle of the ranks, and I’ve also included a snapshot of my favorite piece, which is that of Aretha Franklin, I think his use of color and detail here is just wonderful. The show takes up 3 floors of the Gansevoort St. building and I would allow at least 2-3 hours. The breadth of what he was willing to try was enormous; there seems as if there was nothing he wouldn’t give a shot. One can only imagine where his creativity and candid love of everyday culture would have lead him had he not died so young. The show is really in depth and goes from his Madison Avenue days through his last pieces, at times showing the entire processes of certain works.