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-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora