News / Europe

Warhol's Art Seen in Personal Light at Turkish Show

Visitors at Pera Museum in Istanbul look at artwork by Andy Warhol, June 10, 2014.
Visitors at Pera Museum in Istanbul look at artwork by Andy Warhol, June 10, 2014.
Reuters

A show of Andy Warhol's most evocative and familiar images at Istanbul's Pera Museum portrays the pop art great in a very personal light.

Opened by his nephew James Warhola, “Andy Warhol: Pop Art for Everyone” exhibits 87 of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-born artist's works, including favorites like “Campbell's Soup,” first created in 1962 and revisited over the years.

“As family, we saw him working on the early soup cans,” Warhola, 59, said in an interview at the show's press viewing.

“We didn't understand what it meant, because we were just country people from Pittsburgh, but we knew it was important.

“It all started with the soup cans.”

Ten soup can prints occupy an entire wall in the first gallery room at the Pera, the floor of which is dominated by massive pink metal letters spelling out the artist's name.

Warhol's career began as a graphic designer in advertising, and he was fascinated by the esthetics of mass culture.

That flew in the face of the American art establishment of the time, and Warhol created much controversy before winning his place as one of the most important figures of art in the second half of the 20th Century.

Twenty-seven years after his death, he is often exhibited, with two New York Shows this past spring.

He's also one of the top-selling. A silkscreen painting from his “fright wig” self-portraits from the 1980s sold for more than $30 million in June.

“In the years since his death, there have been so many shows, like every year, and in every major city in the world. He never showed this much in his lifetime,” Warhola said.

“He was a famous illustrator, then a Pop artist, but at the time of his death he wasn't considered as important as he's become today.”

Art for the masses

The pieces in the Pera show are on loan from the Zoya Museum in Modra, Slovakia, the country of his parents' birth. The Zoya claims the largest Warhol collection in central Europe.

“Pop Art for Everyone,” running through July 20, offers a rare chance for outside audiences to see late-career series all in one show, such as “Endangered Species” from 1983, which depicts animals in Warhol's characteristic lurid colors with off-register line drawings, and the more somber “Ten Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century,” from 1980.

“He did a lot of series in his last decade at a time when his work was no longer considered that much of a breakthrough,” said Warhola. “Now in recent years, we see these in a historical view and realize he was still breaking ground in the '80s.”

The Pera Museum, which opened in 2005, has helped bring work by history's best-known artists to Istanbul, once a backwater on the exhibition circuit. In the spring it hosted rare ceramics and engravings from another 20th-century master, Picasso.

At its latest show, the Pera highlights, as the most striking aspect, Warhol's bold use of color.

Set against neon-painted walls, garish portraits of actress Elizabeth Taylor and Vladimir Lenin adorn the walls.

A portfolio of 10 works from “Flowers” also prove what an expert colourist Uncle Andy, as Warhola calls him, was.

Warhol dropped the “a” from his surname after finishing college and moving to New York “just because it was easier to say”, said Warhola, an accomplished children's book illustrator who began drawing after seeing his uncle's fanciful designs for shoe advertisements.

Warhola offered a link between Istanbul and Warhol, who was raised in the Byzantine Catholic faith and found early inspiration in the gold-emblazoned icons adorning St. John Chrysostom Church in Pittsburgh.

“My uncle's interest in gold started in his illustration work from the 50s, and it led up through his pop art. It was from the icons that he used to see at church as a boy. He would stare at these wonderfully stylised figures from Byzantine art.

“In a way, it completes a circle to have his art end up back here in [the former Byzantine capital of] Istanbul shown in such a beautiful manner at this museum,” he said.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid