Perhaps there is no more appealing exhibition right now than Andy Warhol’s at Tate Modern in London – suspended by the health crisis and transferred to the museum’s website, where it can be toured in virtual format for the reason that we cannot visit her in person and it does not matter to us, and because that inanity that we have ever felt when we are physically confronted with her work is precisely what confers her distinctive originality.
In Warhol everything is image and repetition, the machine is the artist and the imitation is the style itself. Because of that superficiality and the mechanical nature of his work, entering the website of the London museum becomes an act of cultural criticism, and even allows us to fantasize about the idea of a living Warhol today.
He would be a few years older than David Hockney or what you would think of New York, with its streets emptied of single individuals. “I like boring things. You sit down and look out the window, it’s nice, you pass the time and also see the people looking out the window. It is like my movies, a way to fill time, “he once told a journalist.
Warhol’s art is spurious, insubstantial, from his portraits of powerful (Jackie, Mao) and idols (Marilyn, Elvis) to his religious scenes, such as the black and white mural The Last Supper (1986) where the repeated image is seen sixty times from a poster of Leonardo’s Last Supper.
The copy of the copy – that was in the kitchen of his family home, the memory of his Catholic childhood tattooed in the gay fantasy of twelve men sharing bread, wine and pistachios. In his paintings and films, faces look or sleep, their translucency is dull, dull, but they shed extraordinary radiation even when one is not physically in front of them.
Under the glass fogged in popularity happened other no less sparkling images: those of his lacerated body, mixing chic of Venus restored by Man Ray and the Torso of Belvedere . In 1969 Richard Avedon photographed the artist showing the scars left by a life-and-death operation after Valerie Solanas attempted to murder him by shooting him three times.
Warhol loved that image of his body, which he came to compare to a Yves Saint Laurent suit. Expressionist painter Alice Neel also portrayed him still convalescing, aging, with the lower abdomen wrapped in an orthopedic corset. .