Andy Warhol, The Pope of Pop

The 60s and the emergence of the consumer society marked the first turning point of the art market evolution, symbolized in part by Andy Warhol and the production of works in series. Warhol has played a major role in the recognition and promotion of the art of traditional offset standards: street art with with the trio Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Richard Hambleton; Pop Art with Lichtenstein … visual art or even the acceptance of new concepts such as homosexuality.
Often compared to AI Weiwei – or vis versa!- whose major focus in his artwork is the emergence of a consumer society in China, Warhol’s artwork is widely inspired by the american consumer societyIt took a while to the master to get recognition and after many unsuccessfull attempts to find his style, Warhol created the Campbell soup concept… and it all started from there, the Legend was born.

Futura’s style of lyrical abstraction was unique, which meant that his work was as distinctive as other artists’ tags and was instantly recognisable even without a signature. Despite his promising start, Futura abandoned street art in 1973, following an accident in the subway system in which his friend and fellow artist Ali was injured. He enlisted in the US Navy for four years, but returned to street art in 1979. Futura and Ali founded the Soul Artists of Zoo York, a collective of New York graffiti artists that met in a subway tunnel under the Central Park Zoo.

In the 1980s, Futura 2000 made the transition from walls to canvas, exhibiting his works in alternative spaces like Fashion Moda in 1980, then in established galleries like Tony Shafrazi in 1983.

From bananas, Elvis’, Marylins, the Campbell soups…  to the  auction record of $105m (pre-estimated $60-80 million) for Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster 1963), Andy Warhol (Andrew Warhola 1928-1949) has left a deep print on Contemporary art. Not only through his artwork but most importantly, inspiring many artists in his time and still today.  Warhol has had a major influence in the emergence of a greater number of artists and a wider public, directly affected in their daily environment: Keith Haring was working among the crowd in the Subway and Hambleton has disturbed the mind of whole cities in the US and Canada with his crime scene reproductions and his graffitis of mass murders.

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Date: February 1, 2016

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