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.