The Collaboration: Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat

When the Eat Like Andy video of Andy Warhol eating a hamburger was shown at the 2019 Super Bowl, Google exploded.  A new generation was discovering the genius of Andy Warhol.

The art of Andy Warhol has been an exciting part of our fine art print collection at VFA. We have always  appreciated his great style and masterfully done prints. We took for granted that the rest of the world knew and appreciated them, as well.

The life and art  of Andy Warhol has gotten increased attention recently. Every aspect of his life is explored in the Netflix docuseries The Andy Warhol Diaries. The documentary uses an AI voice to read the notes that Warhol dictated every day to his friend, Pat Hackett, for about a decade.

There was a recent retrospective that focused on his religious beliefs, on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The play, Chasing Andy Warhol, is being performed by the Bated Breath Theatre Company in the West Village. The Peterson Automotive Museum will be showing Andy Warhol: Cars – Works from the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection later this month and, now, a play about the artist is headed for the big screen.

The Collaboration is a play set in 1984, when Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat worked together on paintings. Both men died not long after their collaboration; Warhol in 1987 from complications after surgery and Basquiat in 1988 from a drug overdose, just eighteen months after Warhol’s death.  The play opened at the Young Vic Theatre in London. It’s set to open at the Friedman Theater on Broadway on December 20, 2022.

The Collaboration stars Paul Bettany as Warhol and Jeremy Pope as Basquiat. The two are expected to reprise their roles in a film adaptation later this year.

In July of 1962, sixty years ago, that Andy Warhol exhibited a wall of 32 Campbell’s Soup paintings at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. The Campbell’s Soup Company was concerned about Warhol’s use of its trademark design and sent a lawyer to the gallery, but decided not to pursue legal action.

The show didn’t do well. Only five of the paintings were sold, for $100 each. Actor Dennis Hopper bought one. Gallery owner Irving Blum saw something in Warhol’s work at the time that most people did not. He bought the five paintings back, and kept them together. In 1996, Blum sold the original set of 32 can paintings to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in a partial sale/gift valued at $15 million. The auction record for a Warhol is $195 million, set earlier this year for Shot Sage Blue Marilyn.

Warhol’s work took off soon after the show at Ferus. The Campbell’s Soup Company reached out to him in 1964, and commissioned a painting for one of their retiring board members. The company has a soup can painting hanging in its Camden, New Jersey, headquarters, and works with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in charitable projects.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat available at VFA.


References:
Michael Paulson. ‘The Collaboration,’ About Warhol and Basquiat, Plans Broadway Bow. The New York Times. July 7, 2022.
Mike Fleming Jr. Anthony McCarten’s Warhol-Basquiat Stage Play ‘The Collaboration’ Heading For Big Screen; Helmer Kwame Kwei-Armah, Paul Bettany & Jeremy Pope Reprise. Deadline. February 3, 2022.
Anna Rahmanan. A new play about Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat is headed to Broadway. Time Out. July 11, 2022.
Alexandra Peers. Why Campbell Soup hated, then embraced, Andy Warhol’s soup can paintings. CNN Business. July 9, 2022.

Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn Sets New Auction Record

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Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) sold for $194 million at Christie’s New York on May 9. Bought by an unknown buyer, the work garnered the highest price achieved for an American work of art at auction.

The silkscreen is one in a series of five, based on a promotional photo of Marilyn Monroe from the film Niagara. The historical significance, alluded to in the title of the work, is that Dorothy Podber, a visitor to Warhol’s studio, pulled out a gun and shot through the stack of Marilyn silkscreens that were piled up in the studio.

Eddie Martinez 1977 –

The vibrant works of Eddie Martinez have been garnering much attention and setting records for at auction.

The Brooklyn-based artist says that he loves graffiti, but stopped painting on walls (when he wasn’t invited to), deciding that incarceration wasn’t worth the risk. He attended the Art Institute of Boston and moved to New York.

His style, that combines fine art with a flowing, street sensibility, has gotten him international recognition. He has had solo shows at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, the Drawing Center in New York, the Bronx Museum, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College and has been featured in The New York Times, the Brooklyn Rail, Art in America and other prestigious publications and galleries.

In 2019, his High Flying Bird (2014) painting sold for $2.02 million at Christie’s.

Martinez and his wife, artist Sam Moyer, work with young artists in New York’s Free Arts program.

Tom Wesselmann 1931-2004

I find sometimes I get so excited working, especially when starting new ideas; I get so excited that I get uncomfortable. It almost feels dangerous, like I’m flirting with something dangerous. – Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann was envious of Willem de Kooning and became intrigued by the works of Henri Matisse while he studied at Cooper Union from 1956 to 1959. One of his teachers, Nicholas Marsicano, encouraged him “to find your own way. . . You can’t do what Matisse did.” Still, the  influence of Matisse can be seen in the colors and lines of Wesselmann’s works .

Wesselmann often payed tribute to the artists he admired. He sculpted with cutouts, a la Matisse, and created Maquette for Still Life with Johns and Matisse. One of his finest still life works is Mixed Bouquet with Leger and Monica Sitting with Mondrian is an homage to another great artist.

Tom Wesselmann: After Matisse will be on exhibit at the Almine Rech Paris Gallery from June 11 through July 30, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Andy Warhol, Eddie Martinez or Tom Wesselmann available at VFA.


References:
Artsy Editorial. 9 Standout Lots from the Artsy x Thurgood Marshall College Fund Auction. March 17, 2022.
Robin Pogrebin. Warhol’s ‘Marilyn,’ at $195 Million, Shatters Auction Record for an American Artist. The New York Times. May 9, 2022.
France24. Warhol Monroe portrait set to smash records at New York sales. July 5, 2022.

Warhol Everywhere; VFA at PBM+C

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol would probably not be surprised by all the attention he has gotten since his death, more than thirty-five years ago.

The Burger King ad, #EatLike ANDY, created a stir when it was shown at the Super Bowl in 2019. People loved it, hated it, and couldn’t stop talking about it. Thousands Googled Andy Warhol during the game. Burger King got its $5 million worth.

This year, Andy Warhol is the focus of even more attention:

A six-part documentary The Andy Warhol Diaries is on Netflix. The Collaboration, a play on stage in London, about the relationship between Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, is on track to become a film. Andy, the musical, was staged in Lisbon last year. Warhol, by art critic Blake Gopnik, is a recently published biography. Andy Warhol: Revelation is a current exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum that focuses on Warhol’s religious works. The Bated Breath Theater Company in New York is doing Chasing Andy Warhol, a theatrical tour through the East Village.

Andy Warhol’s enigmatic personality and celebrity status often overshadows his talent and skill as an artist. The youngest of three sons of immigrants, Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh. His father died when he was thirteen.

He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he studied commercial art and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in pictorial design in 1949. He moved to New York after graduation and began a very successful career in magazine illustration and advertising. His illustrations were used in Glamour magazine and other prestigious publications. During the 1950s he began to exhibit his own works and his career was launched.

A silkscreen portrait of Marilyn Monroe is being auctioned by Christie’s in May. The estimate for what the print will garner is $200 million. The previous highest price for a Warhol painting at auction is $105 million, in 2013. Andy Warhol’s genius for mixing commercial and fine art changed the way the world looks at…everything.

The Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Update

Last weekend’s Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary  (PBM+C) show was a great success. The works of Harland Miller and Bjorn Persson were especially well received at the VFA gallery. It is always a pleasure to share our love of fine art prints with art enthusiasts, especially after a two-years hiatus.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Andy Warhol, Harland Miller, Bjorn Persson or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Laura Zornosa. Warhol-mania: Why the Famed Pop Artist Is Everywhere Again. The New York Times. March 25, 2022.
Bruce Haring. Marilyn Monroe Painting By Andy Warhol For Sale, Estimated Value $200M. Deadline Magazine. March 26, 2022.
Joshua Encinitas.Did the Real Andy Warhol Just Stand Up? Brooklyn Magazine. March 10, 2022.
John Thomason. Inside the Welcome Return of Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary. boca magazine. March 25, 2022.
Roy Lichtenstein MoonScape, 1965 Screenprint on blue Rowlux 19.92h x 23.94w in 200

Roy Lichtenstein’s Studio Donated to the Whitney, Andy Warhol Heard with A.I.

Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has donated the artist’s former West Village studio to the Whitney Museum. The building will be renovated and become headquarters for the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program (I.S.P.).

The I.S.P. was established in 1968. Every year, fifteen young aspiring artists, art curators and historians are invited to participate. They share ideas among themselves and with visiting artists. Lichtenstein was one of the artists who led seminars for the program, having established a relationship with the Whitney in 1965.

The program has not had a permanent home until this acquisition. Lichtenstein bought the 9,000 square foot building on Washington Street in 1987, just a few blocks from the Whitney itself.  The three-story building served as both his home and studio until his death in 1997.

The building, once a metalworking shop, will be renovated and ready for occupancy in 2023.

Before Roy Lichtenstein garnered fame for his Pop artwork, he experimented with different styles, materials and subjects, including folk art,  history and the American west.

A traveling exhibit of these early works, titled Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making 1948-1960, has been curated by the Colby College Museum of Art and Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. It will be on display at the Columbus Museum of Art from March 4 through June 5, 2022 and then at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University from August 25, 2022 through January 8, 2023.

Works like Moonscape and Landscape, screenprints done on Rowlux plastic film, are wonderful examples of Lichtenstein’s creative use of cutting edge materials, as is his use of porcelain and resin to create his Landscape Mobile. These, and other works by Roy Lichtenstein, in a variety of medium and styles, are available at VFA.

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol spent a lot of time in public. He was photographed in clubs with a host of celebrities and at the Vatican with Pope John Paul ll. He was seen, but not often heard, and, in many ways, aspects of his persona remain a mystery.

In 1989, Warner Books posthumously published The Andy Warhol Diaries, edited by his long-time friend, Pat Hackett.

Warhol called Hackett on weekday mornings and she transcribed his words. The published diary, edited from 20,000 pages down to an 807 page book, covers eleven years of Warhol’s life.

Director Andrew Rossi has taken Warhol’s words and created a six-part documentary, using Artificial Intelligence technology to recreate Warhol’s voice. The show’s official description says, “Beginning with his childhood in Pittsburgh, the series traces Warhol’s almost unbelievably diverse journey fluidly moving between mediums and through eras as an artist – both revered and reviled – director, publisher, TV producer, scene maker, celebrity and much more. While he was a larger-than-life figure, Warhol was intensely private regarding his personal life. This series truly reveals much about the very complex man through his own words – often in his own voice through the use of cutting-edge AI techniques – and those who worked, created and played alongside him from the subversive to the mainstream, from John Waters to Rob Lowe.”

The Andy Warhol Foundation has approved the project and the use of A.I.

The Andy Warhol Diaries will air on Netflix on March 9, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol or any of the other fine art at VFA.


References:
Laura Zornosa. Roy Lichtenstein’s Studio Becomes Home to an Artistic Community. The New York Times. February 23, 2022.
Roy Lichtenstein’s Studio Building Donated to the Whitney Museum, and Other News. Surface. February 25, 2022.
Roy Lichtenstein Widow bequeaths Artist’s Studio To The Whitney – Large Roman Mosaic Unearthed In London – Art Basel Announces Spring Exhibitors List. Artlyst. February 24, 2022.
James Hibberd. Ryan Murphy Brings Andy Warhol to Life With AI in Netflix Documentary Trailer. The Hollywood Reporter. February 23, 2022.
Christian Holub. Hear an Andy Warhol A.I. voice narrate the trailer for new Netflix docuseries. Entertainment Weekly. February 23, 2022.

VIPs at LA Frieze and more…

VIPs at LA Frieze

This year’s LA Frieze art fair opened with a special V.I.P Day, attended by such celebrities as Leonardo DiCaprio, James Corden, Will Ferrell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan.

Highlights of the fair were works by Kenny Scharf, Jonas Wood, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz and Jonas Wood, some of our favorite artists at VFA.

Michael Craig-Martin 1941 –

The Blavatnik School of Government, at the  University of Oxford, commissioned Michael Craig-Martin to create a sculpture to enhance the space outside of the building.

Craig-Martin designed a bold, magenta, 16-foot high fountain pen, that balances on its nib, outside the building’s main entrance.

“The image I proposed for Oxford was that of a fountain pen.” Craig-Martin said, “The image can be seen as a reference to serious study and learning, particularly to the signing of important documents, an age-old formality that connects, like Oxford itself, the past and the present, and which is recognised globally.”

Craig-Martin was born in Dublin, in 1941 and has lived and worked in Britain since 1966. As a teacher at Goldsmiths College in London, he influenced a generation of great British artists.

He his known for his minimal style and vivid colors, in both his paintings, prints and sculptures, like Thonet Chair and Sportsballs, available at VFA.

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring moved from Pennsylvania to New York in 1978 to study at the School of Visual Arts. By 1982, he was one of the most visible, and well-known artists in the city.

He had a wide group of friends, including videographer Nelson Sullivan, who recorded the Manhattan art and club scene. Sullivan  recorded a New Years Eve party that Haring held at a gallery, to ring in 1984. That was the same year he collaborated with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to create the textile for the skirt Madonna wore in her music video Borderline.

Works like Chocolate Buddha and those of the Pop Shop series, available at VFA, are so unique and instantly recognizable as Haring’s. It is hard to imagine the artists who inspired him, but there were a few, like Belgian artist, Pierre Alechinsky.

Haring’s work is being shown alongside those of Alechinsky at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Alechinsky, whose style had a profound influence on Haring, is 94 and lives and works  just outside of Paris.

Confrontation: Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky will run from February 27 through October 2, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Kenny Scharf, Jonas Wood, Andy Warhol,  Jonas Wood, Alex Katz, Michael Craig-Martin, Keith Haring or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Cassandra Grey. Cassandra Grey’s 5 Favourite Works on Frieze Viewing Room. Frieze Los Angeles, News February 17, 2022.
Ingrid Schmidt. The Weeknd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Corden in the Market for Art at Frieze Los Angeles. The Hollywood Reporter. February 18, 2022.
University of Oxford. Michael Craig-Martin: Fountain Pen, 2019.
Editors. Rare footage offers a peek inside the private party Keith Haring threw for his friends in 1984. Queerty. February 16, 2022.
Wayne Thiebaud Art

The Influence and Legacy of Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud 1920 – 2021

Wayne Thiebaud, one of America’s most beloved artists, best knows for his luscious paintings of cakes and pies, died at his home in Sacramento on Saturday, December 25th. He was 101 years old.

Thiebaud was not just a painter and printmaker; he was also a mentor and teacher. He taught at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) for more than thirty years, where he was given a lifetime Professor Emeritus title.

He continued painting, and playing tennis, into his 1ooth year.

In 1962, Thiebeaud’s work was shown alongside the works of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Edward Ruscha and others, in the groundbreaking show New Painting of Common Objects, at the Pasadena Art Museum. The show introduced Pop Art to the America and the rest of the world.

His use of colors and subject matter had a profound influence on Jonas Wood, whose works were included in the 2020 show Wayne Thiebaud Influencer a New Generation at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis, to celebrate the artist’s 100th birthday.

Wood was able to arrange a meeting with Thiebaud in 2018. “Experiencing Wayne’s world for an afternoon was excellent,” Wood wrote on his Instagram account.

In 1967, Sports Illustrated commissioned Thiebaud to go to Wimbledon to paint his impressions of the tennis tournament. The result was of Thiebaud’s trip was a spread in the June 24, 1968 issue of Sports Illustrated of four paintings of Wimbledon by the artist.

As an homage to Wayne Thiebaud, Jonas Wood had one of his tennis drawings featured on the cover of Racquet magazine in 2018.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Jonas Wood, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol Jim Dine, Ed Ruscha or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Wayne Thiebaud Influencer a New Generation. Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. March 2019.
Julia Halperin. The American Painter Wayne Thiebaud, Who Transformed Cakes Into Symbols of Joy and Longing, Has Died at 101. Artnet News. December 27, 2021.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Jonas Wood Unveils New Gagosian Exhibition in Hong Kong. Hypebeast/HypeArt. November 24, 2021.
Louis Menand. Before Roy Lichtenstein Went Pop. The New Yorker. July 21, 2021.
Karen Rosenberg. For Andy Warhol, Faith and Sexuality Intertwined. The New York Times. December 2, 2021.
Philip Kennicott. Wayne Thiebaud’s artistic eye was so much keener than pop art confections. The Washington Post. December 27, 2021.
Michael Kimmelman. Wayne Thiebaud, Playful Painter of the Everyday, Dies at 101. The New York Times. December 26, 2021.

Festive, Fun and Fabulous: Fine Art Prints …and more…

The uniqueness of each fine art print is always intriguing and surprising. Each artist’s vision, technique and medium lends itself to the creation of  an extraordinary work of art.

Alex Katz 1927 –

Seeing the fine art prints of an artist like Alex Katz, a master of the use of color, gives us an even greater appreciation of the art form.

His White Impatiens screenprint, has a simplicity of design that makes it hard to believe that he used 26 colors in its clean composition.

A fine art print like Marissa, a woodcut/linocut further underscores Katz’s talent.

Alex Katz will be having a 95th Birthday Exhibit at the Albertina Museum in Vienna on May 17, 2022 through August 21, 2022 and a much-deserved retrospective at the Guggenheim, New York on October 14, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

The works of Kenny Scharf are mind-bending and smile producing. He was born in Los Angles, where he currently lives and works, but spent the 1980s in New York. Scharf attended the School of Visual Arts and became part of the New York art scene with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other artist friends, some of whom, sadly, died during that era.

Scharf calls his work Pop Surrealism, a sensibility that has global appeal.

The Scharf Schack, a newspaper kiosk that he turned into a shop in Manhattan in the ’90s, has been recreated in the Baik Art Gallery in Seoul. The exhibit of Scharf’s works also includes a recreation of his L.A. studio. The exhibit will run through Christmas.

Like Keith Haring, Scharf has always wanted his art to be accessible. He said that art is something, “that can’t be confined to just a painting for a museum or gallery, but that has to explode off the wall into your life.”

At VFA we have a selection of Kenny Scharf’s paintings, prints and sculptures.

Yoshitomo Nara 1959 –

Yoshitomo Nara was a latchkey kid who grew up in northern Japan. One of his major influences was the rock-and-roll music broadcast from a nearby American army base. He didn’t understand the lyrics, but he got then message, and began collecting vinyl records, not just for the music, but also for the cover art.

Nara’s work is currently being shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, along with many of his album covers adorning the installation entrance.

Although best known for his depictions of wide-eyed, mischievous children, Nara also creates mixed media sculptures.

Available at VFA is  Yoshitomo Nara’s Doggy Radio, complete with a nose-turner dial, that is a tribute to the medium that started it all.

Andy Warhol 1928 – 1987

More fun to art lovers than a box of Legos, is Andy Warhol’s Portrait of the Artists from Ten from Leo Castelli. The work consists of 100 polystyrene boxes, each just 2-inches square. On each square is a screenprint of one of the artists whose works were shown at the Castelli Gallery.

The artists portrayed are Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Poons, Lee Bontecou, James Rosenquist; Donald Judd, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Robert Morris, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol himself.

Warhol made 200 copies of the boxed set, one of which is in the collection of MoMA another of which is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints, paintings, sculptures and more, available at VFA.


References:
Korea JoongAng Daily/In association with The New York Times. Exhibitions Across Seoul are attracting MZ generation. December 7, 2021.
Park Han-sol. US pop art legend’s funky ‘Scharf Schak’ from the ’90s reborn in Seoul. The Korea Times. December 8, 2021.
Rashid Johnson, The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club

Draw, Print, Repeat: Double Images and Repeated Patterns

In 1998, a year after Roy Lichtenstein died, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established. Headed by Lichtenstein’s widow, Dorothy, the Foundation has given its support to many outreach and research projects.

This year the Foundation donated $50,000 to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC to help fund the research catalogue for the upcoming exhibition: The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900.

The exhibit examines how and why artists use double forms or motifs in their works. The NGA website says that the exhibit has several themes: “artists in the exhibition explore questions of identity and difference—the difference between the original work and a copy, the identity of the art with the artist, and especially self-identity as defined by our own unconscious, by society, as well as by race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of differentiation.”

Included in the exhibit are works by Andy Warhol, Jasper JohnsRobert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella.

Warhol knew the impact that multiple images have on a viewer. In a work like Portrait of the Artists, the viewer’s eye is forced across the composition to compare each artists’ face with its ten repeated images and with the image of the nine others. His use of the double image is a bit more subtle in Tidal Basin, where he uses a mirror image of the Washington Monument as well as two rectangular backgrounds to draw the eye across the work.

In Frank Stella’s work Black Stack, Stella uses repeated triangles to draw the viewer’s eye down the length on the lithograph, and back up again.

Repeated patterns can be comforting, making order out of chaos. In the 1980s, Donald Sultan created a series of paintings, The Disaster Series, based on newspaper images of the destruction of man-made objects, like train cars and industrial buildings. In 2017 twelve large paintings from the series traveled to major venues around the country, including the Smithsonian.

Sultan’s style went from chaos to order by using linoleum squares, covered with tar, and ordered into series of repeated patterns of dominoes, lantern flowers and poppies. His repeated designs are like comfort food, giving a feeling of serenity, like Big Poppies, Cor-Ten Poppies, even with the use of industrial materials.

One of the modern masters of the repeated image is Julian Opie, whose multiple images move across his work, letting the viewer compare and contrast the individual forms he creates.

The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900 will be on exhibit at the National Gallery from May 15 to September 5, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints available at VFA.

Andy Warhol Exhibits in China and Russia; Jean-Michel Basquiat Exhibit in Chelsea

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In the early 1980s, Jean-Michel Basquiat was at the height of his career. Andy Warhol was experiencing a renewed burst of fame, after focusing on filmmaking in the 1970s, and returning to painting.

Basquiat and Warhol collaborated on a series of works, with Basquiat usually painting over Warhol’s initial composition, with the resulting works enhancing both of their careers.

What the artists did not know at that time, was that their works would have an enduring legacy, and sadly, that their lives would be cut short.

Andy Warhol died of complications during routine gallbladder surgery on February 22, 1987, at age 58.  Jean-Michel Basquiat died, a year-and-a half later, on August 12, 1988, of a heroin overdose, at age 27.

The works of each are as relevant as ever and have garnered global acclaim.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s work is currently being shown in major exhibitions in China and Russia.

Becoming Andy Warhol is the most comprehensive exhibit of Warhol’s works ever to be shown in China. Nearly 400 works, including paintings, photographs and objects that depict his early life and career are on display. There’s even a replica of the red couch that was in The Factory and was the backdrop for many of the celebrity photos taken by, and of, Warhol. Becoming Andy Warhol will be displayed at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing through October 10, 2021 and then travel to the Center for Contemporary Arts in Shanghai, where it will be on display from November 6, 2021 through March 6, 2022.

More than 100 of Warhol’s works are being shown alongside Russian Pop artists at the Sevkabel Port in St. Petersburg expo center now through September 2021. Andy Warhol and Russian Art highlights the influence that Warhol had on artists in the Soviet Union.

Recent acquisitions at VFA by Andy Warhol include Campbell’s Soup/Pepper Pot and Grace Kelly.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

During his too-brief lifetime, Jean-Michel Basquiat painted on canvas, wood and any other surface that he could put his brush to, including the doors and walls of the homes in which he lived and visited.

Because he only lived for 27 years, his oeuvre was limited, which makes every work so precious.

The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, co-led by his sister, Jeanine Heriveaux, is preparing for an exhibition of his work at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Manhattan in the Spring of 2022. Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure will include over 200 works by Basquiat that have either never before or rarely been seen.

“There’s been many exhibitions of Jean-Michel’s work,” Heriveaux said, “but never told from the perspective of the family – Jean-Michel as a child, a man, a son, and a brother.”

VFA’s recent acquisitions of the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat include Ligaments of the Elbow and Hollywood Africans in Front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars.

Please contact us for more information about the works of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat available at VFA.


References:
Yang Yan. Beijing exhibits hundreds of works by American pop artist Andy Warhol. China Global Television Network. July 5, 2021.
ArtfixDaily Artwire. Phillips’ London New Now Auction on 13 July to be Led by Andy Warhol’s Flowers. July 5, 2021.
Brycen Saunders. An Ultra Rare Collection of Andy Warhol Photographs Is Coming to NeueHouse Hollywood. Hypebeast. June 11, 2021.
Peter Cheremushkin. Russian Artists Take Andy Warhol’s Pop Art Vision and Run With It. The Moscow Times. July 2, 2021.
Matt Stromberg. ‘He was aware of racist pigeonholes’: how Basquiat took inspiration from jazz, hip-hop and no wave. The Guardian. June 11, 2021.
Helen Holmes. An Exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Never-Before-Seen Works is Coming Next Spring. The Observer. June 11, 2021.
Julianne McShane. How Basquiat and Street Artists Left Their Mark on Hip-Hop Culture. The New York Times. June 24, 2021.
Cassie Packard. Basquiat’s Painting on an Apartment Door Acquired by Dallas Museum of Art. Hyperallergic. June 30, 2021.

David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Julian Opie and Derrick Adams at VFA

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David Hockney

As part of a £7 million Let’s Do London campaign,  the mayor of London commissioned David Hockney to create a sign for the Picadilly Circus tube station. Hockney reimagined the original red, white and blue sign with a whimsical, typical Hockney-eske iPad purple and yellow design.

Social Media users went wild, making fun of the iPad drawing…and saying that they could do better.

They can’t.

David Hockney, at age 83, has been painting every day at his Normandy, France farmhouse, enjoying every day and teaching the world to be grateful for the world around them.

A video of sunrises, titled Remember You Cannot Look At The Sun Or Death For Very Long, that Hockney created on his iPad, is being displayed on a large screen at Picadilly Lights every evening this month, and will also appear on screens in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tokyo.

“What does the world look like? We have to take time to see its beauty.” Hockney said, “That’s what I hope my work will encourage people to do when they see it on the large screens.”

In all his work, Hockney is able to let us see the joy and wonder of the world around him.

Early Morning and My Shirt and Trousers, available at VFA, are examples of the little things that Hockney is asking us to pay attention to… and enjoy.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s public persona was that of a creative, wild man who created remarkable art works at The Factory by day and partied at Studio 54 at night. Another side of Andy Warhol, his religious side, is being examined in an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh. He family members were devout Byzantine Catholics, who attended church regularly. As an adult, he often attended mass, and even had an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1980. The Roman Catholic Church even funded a Warhol film project that was commissioned by the de Menil family, but was never completed.

Toward the end of his life, Warhol painted over 100 versions of The Last Supper. Andy Warhol: Revelation will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from November 19, 2021 through June 19, 2022.

The taxidermied, mounted moose head that Warhol was often photographed sitting under, will be auctioned off next week, with the proceeds will go to the ASPCA.

An exhibit of Warhol’s silkscreens, including many of his early work, will be on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, New York. Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop | Works from the Bank of America Collection looks at his paintings and his innovations in silkscreen technique. The museum is using the exhibit as a learning tool for the many school children who will attend, to familiarize a new generation with the importance of an artist who changed the way that the world views art.

The exhibit will be on display through November 7, 2021.

Several of our recent acquisitions, like Grace Kelly,  San Francisco Silverspot and Campbell’s Soup/Pepper Pot (and Green Pea) are fine examples of the exceptional fine art prints that Warhol created.

Julian Opie

Julian Opie has been working in his London studio this year, sleeping in his studio at times and jogging along the Thames. He’s not alone in his studio; Opie works with seven technicians and three managers…to create works that appear uncomplicated but take incredible technical skill to produce.

Opie’s recent  Running People sculptures, composed of anodised aluminum figures mounted on Corlan bases, are available at VFA, as are his acrylic relief Small Bird paintings.

This year Opie’s work will be on display at solo exhibits in London, Seoul, Norway, Belgium and Japan.

Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams’ work has been setting auction records. One of his figurative paintings sold at Christie’s March Post-War to Present auction for twice the expected estimate.

Adams’ work focuses on the leisure activities of African Americans. His work is playful and very relatable. Paintings from his Floater Series also set records. Self Portrait on Float, a woodblock with gold leaf and college, from the Floater Series is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Andy Warhol, Julian Opie, Derrick Adams or any other the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Sarah Cascone. Andy Warhol’s Life Revolved Around Sex, Drugs—and Catholicism? A New Museum Show Says Faith Played a Key Role in His Work. artnet news. May 6, 2021.
Dana Schulz. ‘Urban Gems’ auction to sell Keith Haring’s refrigerator door, Andy Warhol’s moose head. 6sqft. Mat 7, 2021.
The Island Now. Andy Warhol: A Life in Pop. May 6, 2021.
Grace Glueck. The de Menil Family/The Medici of Modern Art. The New York Times. May 18, 1986.
Apollo International Art Magazine. In the studio with…Julian Opie. May 10, 2021.
Victoria L. Valentine. Auction Records: Paintings Derrick Adams and Jammie Holmes Establish New Benchmarks at Christie’s, Works by Titus Kaphar and Henry Taylor Also Sold. Culture Type. March 12, 2021.
Jacob Thorburn. ‘Looks like a seven-year-old won a competition’: Twitter users MOCK David Hockney’s Piccadilly Circus art fronting £7m ‘Let’s do London’ tourism campaign… and prove THEY can do better. Daily Mail. May 12, 2021.

Featured Artists and Recent Acquisitions at VFA

At VFA we have recently acquired works by Andy Warhol, David Hockney, KAWS, Julian OpieUgo Rondinone and Kenny Scharf.

Here’s a look at just a few of the new works now available at VFA.

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol moved from Pittsburgh to New York in 1949, armed with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in pictorial design and an abundance of talent. His initial success was as a commercial illustrator…and the rest is history.

In 1959 Warhol self-published a tongue-in-cheek cookbook called Wild Raspberries, named after the Ingmar Berman film Wild Strawberries.

The book was a spoof of the 1950s cookbooks that were done to inspire American cooks to recreate French dishes. Warhol invented dishes like Seared Roebuck, Gefilte of Fighting Fish and Omelet Greta Garbo, which, he wrote, should “always to be eaten alone in a candlelit room.”

Warhol self-published just 34 copies of the cookbook, and most of those were given as gifts to family and friends.

A rare copy of Wild Raspberries, signed by the artist, will be auctioned at Bonhams later this month.

Our recent Warhol acquisitions include Pepper Pot Soup, Green Pea Soup, Grace Kelly and San Francisco Silverspot.

Warhol’s beautiful representation of the San Francisco Silverspot Butterfly, done in 1983, is very timely. The Silverspot is currently on the endangered species list.

KAWS 1974 – present

Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, is being honored with a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, which was the first New York museum to acquire his artworks.

The show, KAWS: What Party, features more than 100 pieces, including early bus stop ads to which KAWS added his signature style in the 1990s.

The exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum will be on exhibit through September 5, 2021.

At VFA we have works by KAWS in a variety of media, and have recently acquired a limited edition wooden Pinocchio sculpture.

Julian Opie 1958 – present

This year British-born Julian Opie has solo exhibits in Seoul, Knokke, Oslo, Tokyo and London. His large public sculptures are recognizable around the world. We have recently acquired sculptures that are a more manageable size than his public statues, as well as Small Birds, a series of acrylic relief works.

Please contact us for more information about our recent acquisitions or any of the other fine works available at VFA.


References:
Tessa Solomon. Andy Warhol’s Cheeky Cookbook Heads to Auction at Bonhams. ARTnews. March 9, 2021.
Emilia Ong. Observer/Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism 2021: Emilia Ong on Andy Warhol at Tate Modern. The Guardian. March 14, 2021.
Nadja Sayej. Kaws: behind the pop culture artist’s Brooklyn retrospective. The Guardian. March 15, 2021.
Ben Davis. Why KAWS’s Global Success May Well Be a Symptom of a Depressed Culture, Adrift in Nostalgia and Retail Therapy. artnet news. March 3, 2021.

The Surreal and Pop at VFA

Carlos Joao Alvarez Guerra Gonzalez 1980 – present

The works of Carlos Gonzalez are a cross between Andy Warhol’s attitude and Rene Magritte’s style. He is a fine portrait artist and surrealist painter whose focus is consumerism and culture.

Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1980. After graduating from the Academy of San Alejandro he studied at the University of the Arts in Havana from 2006 to 2009.

Gonzalez currently lives and works in South Florida, where he has become an active part of the arts community.

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

It’s hard to believe that it was just a little less than two years ago, at Super Bowl Llll, that a huge crowd was sitting in a stadium in Atlanta watching Andy Warhol eat a burger from Burger King. Viewers blew up Google, searching for information about Andy. The ad caused a stir of controversy, which is what Warhol himself did during his lifetime and certainly earned him another fifteen minutes of fame.

Warhol was a very successful commercial artist in New York, working for clients like Tiffany’s and Dior, before getting his own work shown at galleries.

His take on American consumerism resonated with art lovers. “What’s great about this country,” he said, “is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest.”

Warhol’s work, and persona, still resonates with the public. Many of his photographs are currently on display at the Galerie Italienne in Paris.

His talent as an artist is often forgotten, overwhelmed by his large persona. Unique works like Tidal Basin, done for submission to the Washington Post, and Brooklyn Bridge, both available at VFA, reveal his remarkable talent.

Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

Although they thought along similar planes, and both became Pop icons, the works of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol were different in ideology and approach.

Lichtenstein’s work, though taken from comic book cells, had its roots in high art. Throughout their lives, the two artists collected each other’s works but were more like frenemies than colleagues.

Like Warhol, Lichtenstein’s works are still sought after and widely exhibited.

Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop!, an exhibit of Lichtenstein’s recreations of Monet’s works, will be on view at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in downtown Sarasota, from February 13 through June 27, 2021.

The artworks for the exhibit are on loan from the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and private collectors.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Carlos Gonzalez, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein or any of the fine artists whose work is available at VFA.

References:
Eileen Kinsella. Pop or Flop? Burger King’s Andy Warhol Super Bowl Ad Succeeded in Alienating Pretty Much Everybody. artnetnews. February 5, 2019.
Keith Estiler. Largest Exhibition of Andy Warhol’s Photographs to Go on Display in Paris. Hypebeast. December 18, 2020.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to Showcase Pop Art Icon Roy Lichtenstein’s Take on Monet’s Garden. ArtfixDaily. January 12, 2021.

A Mixtape for Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol and Lou Reed

Nothing said I love you…or….I don’t love you anymore…like a mixtape in the 1970s and 1980s. A recently discovered mixtape, made by Lou Reed as a gift to Andy Warhol, reflects the complicated relationship between the musician and the artist. The tape of previously unreleased songs was discovered by Judith Peraino, professor of music at Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences, who discovered the tape while doing archival research at the Warhol Museum.

“What makes this rare is the gift aspect of the tape,” she said, “that Lou Reed intentionally created both a curated set of songs and a composed set of songs on tape meant only for Warhol. This is a harbinger of the mixtape culture and gift-giving that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Warhol managed The Velvet Underground, Reed’s ’60s band. They had a tumultuous relationship. Reed fired Warhol as manager in 1968, although Warhol continued to help the band.

Side 2 of the tape is labeled “Philosophy Songs (From A to B & Back)” after Warhol’s book by that title. The songs, which Reed sings alone while playing guitar, are both sad, heartfelt and apologetic, a reflection of the relationship between the two men.

Andy Warhol and Keith Haring

Andy Warhol met Keith Haring in 1984. Both men were collectors and stored away gifts and mementos that caught their fancy. Last week, Sotheby’s held an online auction called, Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring, which included gifts that Haring received and collected from many artist friends, like Kenny Scharf, George Condo, Jean Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein. One of the highlights of the auction was a Gumby watch, signed by Andy Warhol, that sold for $11,340.

Warhol’s Works Headed to China

Art lovers in China turned out in record numbers last year for a Picasso retrospective at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. It was the first time that a major museum in mainland China had done a show dedicated just to the works of Picasso, and it turned out to be a big hit. The museum is hoping to have another great success with a comprehensive show of over 200 works by Andy Warhol in 2021.

The museum usually focuses on the works of living artists, but the success of the Picasso show was the impetus for the staff to reach out to the Warhol Museum and arrange the exhibit, which will include paintings, prints, drawings, films, and photographs, as well as archival materials, that tell the story of Warhol’s  trajectory from his childhood in Pittsburgh to his command of the art world in New York.

Warhol’s famous portrait of Mao Zedong will probably not be included in the exhibit. The show, simply titled Andy Warhol will run from July 3 through October 10, 2021 in Beijing before traveling to Shanghai in November.

The Works of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine works of art available at VFA.

References:
Ben Sisario. A Long-Lost Lou Reed Tape With a Surprise: Andy Warhol Lyrics. The New York Times. October 30, 2019.
Linda B. Glaser. Musicologist discovers tape of unreleased Lou Reed music. Cornell Chronicle. October 30, 2019.
Far Out Magazine Staff. The long lost Lou Reed songs recorded for Andy Warhol. Far Out Magazine. October 4, 2020.
Taylor Dafoe. Beijing’s UCCA Broke Records With Its Blockbuster Picasso Show. It Wants to Do the Same With the Largest-Ever Andy Warhol Survey in China. artnetnews. October 5, 2020.
Eileen Kinsella. Sotheby’s $4.6 Million Sale of Keith Haring’s Personal Art Collection Tripled Expectations and Drew in Droves of New Buyers. artnetnews. October 2, 2020.
Chris Smith. Remember mixtapes? The history of the cassette. BT. August 20, 2018.

Warhol: A Life as Art

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Andy Warhol saved everything. Every few days he would put together a bunch of stuff that he had accumulated…like movie ticket stubs, bills, wigs, newspaper clippings about himself, Polaroids that he took of his friends…and seal them into a storage box that he labeled TC for Time Capsule.

After his death in 1987, the Time Capsules, all six hundred and ten of them, were sent to the Andy Warhol Museum in his home town of Pittsburgh.

Seven years ago, Blake Gopnik, the former head art critic for the Washington Post, began to sort through the boxes and put together a chronicle of Warhol’s life. The result is a 976-page biography titled Warhol, that details the life of one of the most interesting and talented artists in history.

In a  review of Warhol in The New Yorker, Joan Acocella wrote:

Warhol once tried to give an old friend one of his Marilyn Monroe silk screens, and the man, who disliked Pop, said, “Just tell me in your heart of hearts that you know it isn’t art.” Warhol, imperturbable, answered, “Wrap it up in brown paper, put it in the back of a closet—one day it will be worth a million dollars.” He was right, Gopnik says, but off by two orders of magnitude: in 2008, a Warhol silk screen sold for a hundred million dollars.

There was no huger reputation than Warhol’s in the art of the sixties, and in late-twentieth-century art there was no more important decade than the sixties. Much of the art that has followed, in the United States, is unthinkable without him, without his joining of high culture and low, without his love of sizzle and flash, without his combination of tenderness and sarcasm, without the use of photography and silk-screening and advertising.

Warhol’s large personality often overshadowed his great artistic talent. “In his time, Warhol was very controversial.” Acocella wrote. “Some people thought he was a genius; others, that he should be arrested.”

The Works of Andy Warhol at VFA

We are pleased to have some of Andy Warhol’s most interesting and iconic works at VFA.

Andy Warhol began his career in New York as an illustrator. He got his first big break in 1950, illustrating shoes for Glamour magazine. He was born Andy Warhola, and the magazine incorrectly credited the works as Drawings by Warhol, and he kept the dropped “a” and also kept on doing shoe illustrations, like Shoes – Deluxe Edition, available at VFA.

Warhol submitted the Tidal Basin series, as cover designs for the Washington Post. A departure from his usual style, the works combine silkscreen and collage to create ethereal images of Washington, D.C.

Some of Warhol’s most iconic works are his portraits of Chinese Chairman Mao, created after President Nixon’s historic visit to China, where he met the frail Chairman in 1972. Warhol’s portraits are still banned by the Chinese government. In 2006, the Hong Kong property tycoon Joseph Lau bought one of Warhol’s Mao portraits for $17.4 million in London, setting a record price at a public auction.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Andy Warhol, or any of the other fine art prints, available at VFA.


References:
Waldemar Januszczak. Warhol by Blake Gopnik review — the truth about the pop art pioneer. The Sunday Times. February 16, 2020.
Joan Acocella. Untangling Andy Warhol. The New Yorker. June 1, 2020.
Simon Elmes. The secrets of Andy Warhol’s time capsules. BBC News. September 10, 2014.

Take Part in Art During the Quarantine

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The quarantine has been a springboard for many of us to learn new skills, study things we never had time for in the past and find gratitude for many of the things that we used to take for granted. The viewing of fine art through virtual museum and gallery tours has greatly increased. Auction houses are reporting that younger, first time art buyers from countries around the world are showing an increased interest in fine art.

There are a lot of DYI sites on line and some great ideas, kooky ideas and terrible (but still interesting) ideas out there. Here are a few of the highlights:

Build a Gallery

Nine-month-old brothers Pandoro and Tiramisù survey London’s newest art institution, The Gerbil Museum (photo courtesy museum trustees Filippo and Marianna)

On a quiet Sunday, a couple of art lovers, quarantined in London, decided to create an art gallery for their gerbils, Pandora and Tiramisu.

Although the original art is very classic, and classy, the gerbils seemed to enjoy the furniture more than the art. They completely ignored the prominently posted Do Not Chew sign.

Do The Toosie Slide

Drake, the Canadian Rapper, posted a video that went viral, when he danced The Tootsie Slide through his 50,000 square foot home outside of Toronto.

What caught our attention was what showed up at the :45 second mark: the Andy Warhol screenprint of Chairman Mao on the wall of Drake’s home, just like one that we have, for sale, on our wall at VFA.

Learn to Screenprint

You probably don’t have photo emulsion at home, but you can still learn the screenprint process by watching the How to Print Like Warhol  video from the Tate Modern.

Artists like Andy Warhol and Alex Katz make screen printing look simple. Knowing the amount of thought and work that goes into a deceptively simple appearing work like Katz’s After Degas or Coca Cola Girl 3, which is a 20-color screenprint, lends a new level of appreciation to the work.

Draw a Picture

Paul Klee wrote, “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”

If you’ve got a pencil and paper, there are some great drawing tutorials on line, like the videos done by middle school teacher, Jessica Hopper, who uses ketchup, coffee and other household items in the ‘Quarantine Edition’ of her YouTube art tutorials.

A screenshot from one of Jessica Hopper’s recent “Art Club: Quarantine Edition” videos

Drawing is not as simple for all of us as it was for Paul Klee (or as it is for Julian Opie), but it may be worth a try.

Contact us at VFA

Please phone or connect with us online if you have any questions about the works in the VFA gallery.
We hope you, your friends and family stay safe and well.

References:
Hrag Vartanian. A Couple Made a Mini-Museum for Their Gerbils to Visit During Quarantine. April 6, 2020.
Michael Saponara.  7 Things You Might Have Missed Inside Drake’s House in ‘Toosie Slide’ Video. Billboard. April 3, 2020.
Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

We believe that the more you know, the more you will appreciate fine art prints.

In our Ebook you’ll learn:

  • A short history of prints from the earliest woodcut to contemporary processes
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