Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. He was born in Pittsburgh, USA, in 1928. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist.
Warhol’s art encompassed many forms of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death.
Warhol also had an appreciation for intense Hollywood glamour. He once said:
„I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re so beautiful. Everything’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.“
He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.
On June 3, 1968, radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and Mario Amaya, art critic and curator, at Warhol’s studio. Before the shooting, Solanas had been a marginal figure in the Factory scene. She had been turned away from the Factory after asking for the return of a script she had given to Warhol. The script had apparently been misplaced.
Amaya received only minor injuries and was released from the hospital later the same day. Warhol was seriously wounded by the attack and barely survived: surgeons opened his chest and massaged his heart to help stimulate its movement again. He suffered physical effects for the rest of his life, including being required to wear a surgical corset. The shooting had a profound effect on Warhol’s life and art.
Solanas was arrested the day after the assault. By way of explanation, she said that Warhol „had too much control over my life.“ She was eventually sentenced to three years. After the shooting, the Factory scene became much more tightly controlled, and for many the „Factory 60s“ ended.
„Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television—you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.“
Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression „15 minutes of fame“. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is 105 million US-Dollar for a 1963 canvas titled „Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)“. Warhol’s works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold. He died in February 1987.
David Bowie about Andy Warhol:
“I met him a couple of times, but we seldom shared more than platitudes. The first time we saw each other an awkward silence fell till he remarked my bright yellow shoes and started talking enthusiastically. He wanted to be very superficial. And seemingly emotionless, indifferent, just like a dead fish.
Andy always wore those silver wigs, but he never admitted it were wigs. One of his hairdressers has told me lately that he had his wigs regularly cut, like it were real hair. When the wig was trimmed, he put on another next month as if his hair had grown.”
Iowa born Justin Eccles is a graphic designer and painter. “I have been interested in both topics for all my life.” For the last nine years he lives in Istanbul. Six years ago he fulfilled his dream and opened his own gallery in Istanbul’s artists‘ quarter Kadiköy.
From the US he came to Turkey with a contract for working in a gallery. As a graphic designer he is specialized in creating book covers. Nowadays he is doing his own art work. Beside that he has interns from all over the world who can work with him and experience the art scene. Justin also teaches art.
“Students can use the experience here for their academic credits back home”, he adds. “Also I do rent space to other artists for exhibitions.” But most he loves to do his own art work.
Vivian Huizenga is a native of Grand Rapids, MI., USA. She moved to Canada at 18 and has been working in Istanbul for the last 7 years. Vivian has been painting sporadically since her first painting in elementary school. Within a few years she won several honorable mentions in citywide adult competitions as a 15 and 16 year old. Although encouraged to attend art school, she rejected any external influence in her artistic pursuits, choosing instead to express on her own terms.
Vivian sold her textile works to the Charlottetown Cultural Arts Center and paintings to Prince Edward Island University, Canada in 1975. The Center often asked for more works but a busy life with 3 small children restricted her productions. Vivian taught in the Artists in Residence Program in PEI public schools in 1982 to 1983.
In 1992 to 1997 Vivian worked as a portrait artist on the streets of Paris, France, gaining popularity and recognition, she was chosen for group commissions on Montmartre. She also worked in Florence, Italy and was respected for her style of capturing people without any formal training. Vivian sold works to local restaurants, individuals and has painted on commission for the last 35 years.
Vivian’s love for old Istanbul, to capture its history, layers, from old Byzantine ruins, underground palaces, aqueducts, city walls to sunken water fountains, Ottoman camel stops and mosques of the Middle Ages, to once stately 17th century bay windows, arched doors, now crumbling and vacant, wooden houses crooked and peering sadly down narrow cobble streets, drooping in flowering vines, ripe fallen mulberries. Screeching of swifts in a night sky with wafting smoke of water pipe coal fires against haunting music of a bygone age. Peoples, age, time, lives, dwellings; an interface of existence.
Scott Schuman’s interviews with Magnum photographer Steve McCurry in www.thesartorialist.com
Part 1 – 5:
Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.
Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.
It was after several months of travel that he found himself crossing the border into Pakistan. There, he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian Invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after weeks embedded with the Mujaheddin, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, putting a human face to the issue on every masthead.
Since then, McCurry has gone on to create stunning images over six continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike – yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.
McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest, to name a few. (www.magnumphotos.com)
„What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling.“