Andy Warhol in 2017 – BuzzWord -VersesInked



Andy Warhol at Verses Inked


“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.” – P.G. Wodehouse from Adventures of Sally.

Andy Warhol took his fascination on the subject to a whole new level having fallen pray to the wrong end of the instrument. Victim to a fateful gunshot wound in the late sixties, inflicted upon him by radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas, Warhol was plagued by the injury for the rest of his life. On the psychological level, the incident had an even more profound influence on the artist, wherein thirteen years after the incident he released a series of paintings which were to be entitled – Guns and Knives. The Guns depicted in the series, particularly resembled the .22 snub nose pistol, which was used to take aim at him. During the production of these pieces, Warhol is said to have invited friends over to his studio with their firearms. The subsequent polaroid images of the guns would later be immortalized by the artist on the canvas. Long live the Pop Art.


What brings Warhol in trend in 2017?

The world could not be enough. Amidst, the work that need be for the promotion of an Alice Cooper album release, its twenty seventh act since its inception in 69. We have Alice in persona and social profile, Vincent Damon Furnier speaking about his lucky break.

“ Yea, so this more or less beats that feeling you get when you find $20 in an old jacket. “

Read one of Cooper posts with an appropriate link.

Alice Cooper’s ‘forgotten’ Warhol found after four decades in storage.”

Was the headline to the Cable News Network link. Need we say more.

The piece, by chance discovered among the fabled props from the Alice Cooper concerts, is a silkscreen rendition in classic red and black of an electric chair. An instrument which on its part was a popular prop in its own capacity in Cooper concerts of yore.

No coincidences out here as both Cooper and Warhol had been known to be socially acquainted, perhaps indeed friends during the early 70’s. The painting which was then acquired for a couple of grand is now a million dollar baby in the making. Credit to the mother of Vincent Furnier and her perhaps photographic memories of a rolled painting resting in inventory.

Warhol’s Little Electric Chair, in its red replaced with green imagery, which is said to be the original of which the Cooper’s Warhol is a reproduction, sold at a 2015 auction at Christie’s, New York for a chart topping 15 millions. All of us including Warhol,Cooper or Roger Fedrer could always do with a few honest millions of dollars to show off.

The theme behind the electric chairs is a part of Warhol’s Death and Disaster series of the early 60’s. A period wherein Warhol was dealing with the elements of the darker side, upon been advised by friend and then young art curator Henry Geldzahler, at a lunch at Serendipity, an usual hangout for Warhol of the day. The Death and Disaster series which included a body of somewhat seventy loosely connected works of art, was an attempt on the part of the artist to move away from his all embracing commercial image of soup cans and coke bottles. A period prior to the time of the Gun and Knives series of the 80’s, wherein the artist would take on the subject of the dark side, drawing on experience from his own past.What would come to be known as the Guns and Knives series.

Again no surprises, for one of these guns were reason enough for not just us at Verses Inked, but in fact the aware art community on the whole, to get busy about Andy Warhol. And when t is Andy Warhol, you could rest assure of some Limousines. Now only a few Limousines would be an understatement when talking of Art Basel.


You Have to Talk about Basel!

 Speaking of abstract, objective, misplaced preludes; Basel is home to Roger Federer, and since 1970 also host to the extravaganza which today materializes every year as Art Basel. The years since has seen the brand include Miami beach and Hong-Kong into its annual itinerary, expanding into a three times a year, multi-national, age defining art affair.

With over 100,000 in attendance from June 15th -18th , picking on the works of 4000 contemporary artists represented by 291 of the world’s leading galleries.The cornucopia on display ranging from paintings and installations to publications and films, showcasing the works of modern masters, living legends and those up and coming, the artwork on display categorized into exclusive sectors.

Read More – Art Basel, Basel 2017

Among names like Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein August Sander, Fernand Léger, Christopher Wool, Samson Kambalu, Subodh Gupta to name a few at the 47th edition of Art Base, stands the 16”x20” monumentalization of the revolver by Warhol. Making its own space in the Art Unlimited sector, the most spectacular of sections in the exhibition, one of Warhol’s guns is showcased for the viewing pleasure and interest of the visitors.

An acquisition by Mnuchin Gallery New York, at the turn of the millennium, for as per Warhol standards, a modest sum of $12 millions, this 80’s silk screen Warhol, with its surrealistic yellow duplicating effect, and larger than life presence of the .32 snub nose, the same weapon with which the artist was aimed at and critically wounded. This piece sure is a head turner in any time and space. To whom it matters, Steven Mnuchin, who is the son of the gallery owner is a public servant in the exceedingly pro-ammunition Donald Trump administration.

The world still could not have had enough of Andy Warhol. At the VIP preview at Basel, still June 2017, Sweden based art gallery Skarstedt found themselves amassing $30 millions, from an unnamed American private collector for the sale of a Warhol self portrait, done in shades of modest, narcissistic pink, where the artist approaching middle age is depicted sporting an out of bed, shock spikes.



Pop Art and Roy Lichtenstein

Pop Art looks out into the World. – Roy Lichtenstein

 Pop culture as a phenomenon is a product of the twentieth century west. It is a conglomeration of ideas, expressions and opinions that garnered enough public interest to be considered mainstream. Broadcast and publicity makes the phenomenon an integral part of common life. Muted down so could be heard, compromised so as to fit in, yet intricate, and exciting. In its finery to make a show out of life and how.

Pop art is here to stay, here to celebrate existence and meander away from the orthodox and assimilate the rebels into its ever swelling streams. Conceived by the west in the 1950’s, constructed from the essence of irony in the mundane necessities of life. Pop art presents itself to the audience as a celebration of the humdrum. Everyday objects like a tea cup or a refrigerator, peripheral sections of the newspaper like comic strips and advertisements create the reference image on which the artwork is elaborately based. The reproduction of the otherwise obscure imagery into something magnificent through the application of expert techniques, laced with generous overtones of irony. This is what makes Pop Art, the on your face, million dollar extravaganza that it is.

While other art movements from the 20th century like Dadaism, Expressionism and Surrealism, evolving from the aesthetics of cubism, impressionism and likes, now depended heavily on the contents of the artist’s soul, deriving from the elements of  the spontaneous sub-conscious, defeated conscious and meticulously dysphoric mind. Pop art, also a brainchild of the 20th century, in its modest ways begged to differ. Drawing life source from the forgettable, yet easily recognizable, everyday images in circulation. Comic strips and images from advertisement columns are of paramount importance in this regard.

In their selection of a materialistic medium as inspiration, pop art may have pursued the footprints of dadaism,a movement which preceded pop movement by a few years. Yet in its influence to the mass media, pop art surely went the longer distance.

Pop art like Abstract Expressionism was conceived on the bedrock of the post world war II civilization. Abstract Expressionism on its part drew from the psychological emptiness that was still prevalent among the population, while Pop art drank from the spring of industrial and commercial boom.

Thus pop art induces a rather interactive ambiance among a more varied audience compared to the other mentioned art movements which may attract the attention of few of the industry fanatics. Among other critical commentary on Pop art, it is often stated that the intentions of the artist is to strategically promote the cause of capitalism.

The ideals of Pop art may have surged across the common consciousness of different cultures at different points of time. Yet today what we speak of as Pop art is with respect to the American context.

Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann, Claes Oldenburg among others are the American pop art masters.

Roy Lichtenstein and Pop Art:


Roy Lichtenstein (

“ Pop Art looks out into the world. It doesn’t look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself. ” as quotes Lichtenstein.

Roy Lichtenstein was a creator of million dollar enterprises. His 1963 artwork, ‘Torpedo Los’, in the year 1989 fetched a modest $5.5 millions at an auction in Christie’s. A personal record for the artist in the time. The piece which now could be considered a pop classic was sourced from an image from DC comics, with necessary meaningful alteration made by the artist. From 2010 on wards, paintings of Lichtenstein have constantly crossed the $40 million mark, with pieces like – ‘Ohhh Alright’, ‘I Can See the Whole Room…and There’s Nobody in it!‘, ‘Sleeping Girl’ and ‘Women with Flowered Hat’ . In 2015 with the sale of, ‘Nurse’ to an anonymous buyer at an auction at Christie’s, for an astonishing $95.4 millions, the artist broke his previous record set by, Women with ‘Flowered Hat’ which sold in 2013 for $56.1 millions. All painstaking creations of pop art.

From among the author’s body of work, special mention must be made of:  ‘ Whaam’ – 1963 Tate Modern Art, London; ‘ Downing Girl ’ – 1963, Museum of Modern Art, New York; ‘Look Mickey ‘ – 1961, National Gallery of Arts, Washington DC. Pieces which paved the way for the artist’s fame and are considered absolute corner-stones in the pop art repository.

Among other prominent artworks by Lichtenstein is the ‘Brushstroke Series’. A series of paintings embarked upon and accomplished by the artist in 65/66, which depicted in different ways the artistic rendition of a brushstroke. Imagery on the lines of Abstract Expressionism. A homage to the brushstroke, with its bold outlines, Ben day dot mastering, meticulous presentation and comic book inspiration, the smoke is all about Pop Art.

A true Pop artist at soul, who understood his creations, Roy Lichtenstein also showed artistic bias towards the mirror, late in 60’s. As counter culture was approaching its peak, while art critics still received their paychecks, it was the artist’s attempt at surrealism.

Born in a well to do Jewish family, Lichtenstein was first introduced to art and graphics in school. Through out his life he remained a student of the subject, with reproductions been the driving element of his body of work. His rendition of Van Gogh’s, ‘Bedroom at Aries’, in the early 90’s, more than a hundred years after the original was painted, through its bold outlines, bright colors and an overall remastering appeal, depicts organization, efficiency and evolution of the arts.



Desk: Wheat-field with Crows’ – Vincent van Gogh -Art Discourse.

‘Daffodils ‘ – Poetry – Verses Inked©

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daffodils them pretty things
prettier still how tequila stings
daffodils then, them go rude
you sweat it out like an ice cube
daffodils trampled underfoot
circumscribed with salt and soot
still daffodils burn bedecked
now not grenadine, its triple sec
now daffodil you killing time
quit plating up your spot of lime
you daffodil left to decay
shaken, stirred, as you may
if daffodil still be your name
then i chose to stay what i became



Also Read: 88 Poetry on Verses Inked


Artwork: Nurse

Artist: Roy Lichtenstein

Image Source: wikipedia