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

    Pentagon: Afghan Hospital Bombing Not a War Crime

    US Central Command's Joseph Votel says probe found tragedy was result of 'extraordinarily intense situation' that included multiple equipment failures

    US Minorities Link Guns with Other Social Ills

    New study finds reduction in gun violence could help lower America’s incarceration rate – the world’s highest - and improve relationships between police, citizens in minority communities

    US Millennials Beat Baby Boomers as Largest Living Generation

    America's young people are about to take over and here's what we can expect from them

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora