Johanna Parker wrote:
I'm not sure what your point is. Accept what? That the painting is in large part a copy of a photograph?
The point is that the word "painting" suggest someone used paint and paint brushes. This picture / image / artwork / collage is not a painting by that definition. It's a photograph with additional typeface on canvas. Nobody painted it.
Thanks. Sorry, I wasn't sure what your point was.
Well, is it okay that the image isn't exactly a painting? Does that really matter? Most of the early work that Warhol is most famous for, the Marilyns, the Jackies, the Elvis's, aren't paintings. They're photosilkscreens of photographs taken by other people that Warhol then silkscreened onto canvas, then sometimes touched up with bits of paint. A technique that he continued to use for years, in later years the basis for his colorful "flower" series. This technique was also famously used by Robert Rauschenberg who for years in the 70s and 80s took lengths of cloth and photosilkscreened images from photographs by other people (often from newspaper photography) onto the pieces of fabric and draped them on the walls of galleries. Nobody at this point claims these are not great works of art. More recently there is the work of Barbara Kruger, who has used
appropriated photographs, many from advertising, which she has turned into art by placing typeface slogans over the photos. Here's a famous example:http://www.arthistory.com/arthistory/fe ... d-1989.jpg
Rauschenberg once made a sculpture that was a taxidermied goat with a tire hung around it's neck, which did involve using a lot of paint. Lacking a suitable word for this piece, he named it a "combine."
Then there's Marcel Duchamp's famous "defacing" of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and beard, underneath which he wrote the letters LHOOQ (which apparently is a code for "she has a hot box"), hence the work's title
LHOOQ. It's not really a painting. I'm not sure what to call it:http://psyc.queensu.ca/~psych382/DuchampLHOOQ.html
Maybe ultimately it doesn't matter exactly what these things are called (there's Duchamp's famous "Why not sleeve, Rose Selavy?" in the Pompidou which consists of a tiny wooden cricket cage stuffed with cotton balls and a thermometer- what exactly is that?). One of my favorites is this piece by Joseph Beuys which he deemed one of his "social sculptures." It's an old wooden chair into which he packed a wedge of lard:http://www.designboom.com/history/stilllife/08.jpg
Okay. So this was a bit far afield. But just to make the point that we don't always have an exact word to call a particular work. Sometimes as with "combines", people make them up.
Is the issue with the LIFE piece that it's described as a "painting" - which I guess it could be, but I doubt it is. It's probably an image transfer onto which Bob has added commentary in typeface he placed onto the image.
Is this strictly an objection to something that is not a painting being described as a "painting" - probably inaccurately. Or is it that you are bothered that he used a photograph taken by someone else and transformed it by putting commentary on it in typeface? And if you are bothered, is it because you believe that to make something from an already existing image is a type of plagiarism?
I'm not being cute. I know you have looked at all the work in the show carefully. So I'm asking your opinion of that particular piece.
It doesn't bother me. I'm not especially surprised by the LIFE piece. We have known from the Brigette Lacombe photographs that Bob has an area near his house where he keeps pieces of wrecked cars from which he allegedly creates sculptures. That would indicate that he isn't especially wedded to any particular media or a traditional way of approaching art.
Beyond that, this makes perfect sense because his music is basically not traditional songs with traditional lyrics.
Bob has as we know over the years used a masterful hodgepodge in which he quotes from the work of other people, misquotes things, inserts dialogue into songs, throws in nonsense collages of phrases, and is very fond of turning extremely turgid cliches on their heads, as well as referencing traditional ballads, old blues songs, the poetry of Andrew Marvell, and even includes bad jokes we know he did not originate. So if his music is like this, is it a surprise that his art work could turn out to be a funhouse mirror hodgepodge of his own personal reality, which might include references to or manipulation of images that have made an impression on him?
If I've misunderstood you, please correct me. I don't want to be in the position of having misinterpreted why you are referring to the LIFE piece and if, as it seems, it bothers you. As I said, I know you have really looked at the work and am curious about your reaction to it.