David Cronenberg Talks Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol may be best known for his can of Campbell's soup, but he was also obsessed with celebrity and tragedy. Yesterday, at the launch of the Art Gallery of Ontario's Andy Warhol / Supernova: Stars, Death and Disaster, 1962-1964, film director and guest curator David Cronenberg spoke of his own work with stars and disaster, and why Warhol's work is particularly relevant now.
The exhibit itself includes photography, painting, silkscreens, and films projected on walls, each Meeting with a group of bloggers before the opening of the show, Cronenberg spoke of the challenges of bringing the show to the AGO due to the space restrictions, but voiced his pleasure at the way it ended up coming together: "I didn't want people to breathe too much. The show is very intense and dense." Sitting on a couch in his Nikes, Cronenberg talked about Warhol's focus on the specific in order to convey the universal, which is a recurring tendency in art. The Canadian director's sensibility on new media was refreshing, as he spoke of the splintering and fragmenting of the "pretense of the mass audience" due to new technologies, and how this was crucial to the way film and other forms of art are created and marketed.
The exhibit itself includes photography, painting, silkscreens, and films projected on walls, each conveying Warhol's fascination with any type of celebrity. Working on his premise that every person will get their fifteen minutes of fame, the works in the exhibit portray â and almost eroticize â human tragedy as a form of celebrity. The juxtaposition of Warhol's films Blow Job and Kiss with a silkscreen of an electric chair excellently shows the power of disaster as a stimulating concept. While the exhibit itself is quite small, Cronenberg's audio commentary is extensive, and includes the thoughts of people that had the opportunity to work with Warhol himself, such as Dennis Hopper.
An artist's party followed the opening of the Supernova show, bringing together local artists for a social evening to celebrate the new exhibit and network with other people in the industry.
The Andy Warhol / Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962-1964 exhibit runs from July 8 to October 22 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Tickets are $18 but can be obtained for free by spotting the pink hearse.
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