While we were touring around Victoria years ago, we stopped in to visit The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to see the Andy Warhol exhibit of “Warhol Larger Than Life”.
This was a great privilege for me to see one of the famous Pop artists I had read about in art history books. It was neat to see the images from my textbooks in person.
I learned a lot about his creative process. He used templates cut out of paper for his lettering. He used a Polaroid camera to capture images of movie stars that became his source material for larger silkscreen and acrylic paintings.
It was interesting to learn that there was no deeper meaning in his Campbell Soup paintings other than he ate a lot of soup as a kid. His life’s work was to turn everyday, ordinary items into art.
But the thing that fascinated me most was how in 1965 he had his first solo exhibition in Toronto, ON.
He was criticized and questioned in Canada whether his Brillo soapbox sculptures were real art. He was even charged duty at the border on the boxes that were thought to be commercial products brought through customs.
Despite his promotions and publicity, the attendance was minimal for this exhibition. Not one piece of art sold.
Yet, two years later his Brillo soapbox sculpture was bought by the National Gallery of Canada and is a significant piece in their Pop Art collection today.
I will tell you this, though… his work is impressive and his use of colours is striking.
When you consider that this type of art wasn’t done before his time, it makes the work that much more significant. It makes you realize how far we have come. Seeing the art in person, you understand the scale. You understand the creation process. And, you can understand the importance.