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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.