Tag: Pop Art

IMAGINARY ARTISTS V: JOKER

IMAGINARY ARTISTS V: JOKER

CAREER SUICIDE

“Barbed wire is the medium of the future, Mrs. Russelmeier… but that is no way to make a banana.” The Joker, 1966.

Two 1966 episodes of the Batman TV series– itself a masterpiece of Pop Art and camp– overtly call out to Pop Art and the (then) contemporary abstract expressionists with Pop Goes The Joker/Flop Goes The Joker, in which the eponymous lunatic vandalises an art gallery. When one of the artists whose works have been permanently wrecked with splashes of paint actually likes it and appreciates that their value’s been increased (“All I could ever draw was stupid looking farm boys”– a sly but spot-on dig at Norman Rockwell), the Joker wastes no time in getting himself into Gotham City’s art world. He starts by winning an art competition against the likes of Jackson Potluck, Pablo Pinkus, and a paint flinging monkey. After an all-too-accurate satirical…

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IMAGINARY ARTISTS III: WARHOL

IMAGINARY ARTISTS III: WARHOL

CAREER SUICIDE

Even the “real” Andy Warhol was a fictional character, a fastidiously maintained Pop Art costume and distancing apparatus worn throughout his adult life by the lad from Pittsburgh formerly known to his Slovakian parents as Andrej Varhola Jr. After he was nearly shot to death by Valerie Solanas in 1968 it was almost as if the last vestiges of any real person really had died that day; all that remained was the character. On the rare occasions when he spoke of it at all, Warhol more or less admitted this was the case. He sometimes spoke of seeing himself as if he were a character on television.

Within a few years of his death in 1987 Andy Warhol started to appear as a character in numerous films and TV shows, including some (Austin Powers and Watchmen, for example) where he amounts to not much more than a kind of set…

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