The philosopher Roger Scuton argues that he had nothing to say, it really was all about money. “It is worth pointing out that there is neither beauty, nor elegance nor style in anything that Warhol did, and that the very media he chose were reflections of the moral emptiness within him. But since the result (like the silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe) convey that emptiness, there is nothing in them to understand; in no way do they present a challenge to the observer, other than the challenge to his cheque-book. And if you are extremely rich, extremely stupid and morally vacant, why not write a cheque to prove it?”
The pro-Warhol response to that is that it misses the point. The cheque book IS the aesthetic. “I think the argument one could well make,” says Noah Horowitz, “is that in some sense his whole thing, his MO, his method of production was totally tied into that [the market], and it’s one thing to analyse and criticise and do something aesthetic with that structure but Warhol embraced it and made it his aesthetic.”
So either Warhol was an empty product of money or he made art out of money. Take your pick.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
... On Andy Warhol | Bryan Appleyard. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)