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Andy Warhol 365 Takes: The Andy Warhol Museum Collection Hardcover – May 12, 2004
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If you're a fan, your bookshelf is crying out for Andy Warhol: 365 Takes. And if you're not, this artfully designed volume may very well turn you into one. Read it straight through or dip in anywhere. Either way, you get an illustrated tour of Warhol's friends, lovers, personal history and obsessions (shoes, religion, jewels, mortality), as well as his art. Organized in a vaguely thematic way that blithely ignores chronology, this compact volume serves up a four-decade feast of creativity in bite-size nuggets: a very Warholian approach. Facing pages juxtapose a Warhol image with a well-chosen morsel of text. Drawn from diverse sources, including The Andy Warhol Diaries, the texts illuminate the images with useful tidbits of insider information. Reproductions of Warhol's work reveal his extraordinary range and inventiveness, from the delicate, lyrical drawing for a jazz record cover from the 1950s to rueful self-portrait photos in drag from the early 1980s. Of course, much of the famous work is here as wellthe Death and Disaster Series, the Brillo boxes, the Three Marilyns, the celebrity portraits of the 1070s, the collaborations with the Velvet Underground. One of the most intriguing aspects of the book is the way it uses Warhol's vast personal collection of ephemera to show how a newspaper headline, shop window or movie star magazine could inform the look of his art. This great compendium of Warholiana is marred only by the occasionally smug, fanzine tone of remarks by The Andy Warhol Museum staff. Theres no need to overstate the case for Warhol; his outsized reputation is secure. --Cathy Curtis
From Publishers Weekly
This "year in the life" of Warhol's artistic and social productions (was there a difference?) actually spans decades. More than 15 years after Warhol's death, his work retains an uncanny ability to make the most banal elements of American life sharp and subversive; these 365 full-page 91/2"×61/2" color illustrations, with pertinent (or impertinent), texts on facing pages) includes the movies (Blow Job, Taylor Mead's Ass), the silk screens (Mao etc.), the entourage (endless) and much more in celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Warhol museum (in Warhol's birthplace of Pittsburgh, Pa.). The Andy Warhol Diaries and The Philosophy of Andy Warhol are overdrawn on for the text. The illustrations are fresher and include early drawings; film notes and shooting schedules; photographs of Warhol's tape recorder, telephone and wig collection; and a magazine quiz filled out by Warhol. These are counterposed with reproductions of some (but not all) of Warhol's better known completed pieces, such as Campbell's Soup or Elvis 11 Times. However, the inclusion of "contextual" material like photographs of Brooke Shields or the Jacksons could have easily been replaced by more of Warhol's own artwork. While the range reproduced shows Warhol's extraordinary versatility in mediums, whether film, silkscreen, painting or people-collecting, no book can convey the shocking impact of his work.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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When it arrived I flipped through it and found different graphic nudity than I expected. A couple of pages in particular show and talk of the male erotica that Andy was into. (I'm talking even full frontal male photographic exposures with a small amount of self manual touching). I'm open to personal choices but in this case this was NOT OKAY for the teen age Andy Worhol fan whose gift it was meant to be.
I'm in a mental dilemma now as I love the idea of the book and there are many fabulous print representation in it that are appropriate for all. I can't decide whether to censor it to the needed level (part of me feels the wrongness of that) and still gift it; or send it back and opt for something with less quality that fits. I feel on a quantity/presentational quality level I'll be disappointed now with anything else.
So for more conservative homes and those not familiar with Andy Worhol, be aware that there is artwork (and text) depicting homosexual relationships, nude male and female bottoms, Male genitalia, female breasts, etc. and for those who prefer absolutely no nudity, a mother nursing. I didn't read ALL of it but in reading parts I also found one cuss word (the S- word).
This book, "Andy Warhol 365 Takes" is one of those weird rectangular format hardcover art books, 6x11, maybe, I dont know, my finger isnt calibrated like a ruler and my arm isnt long enough to reach the kitchen drawer where I keep my ruler. Its a fun sized book, though, and on each page there is some piece of Warholia--a print, a drawing, a photo, a film still, a reproduction of a scrap book page, etc.--and on the facing page a short, usually no more than two paragraphs, bit of text giving some pertinent background of the illustrated piece. So this book ends up being part art retrospective, part critical review, part biography of Warhol--a must, therefore, for every Warhol admirer, assembled as it is by some folks associated with the Warhol museum, which is unfortunately located in Pittsburgh.
Andy Warhol says stuff like, "Isnt life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?"
This is one of the many things he said that illustrate what a clever and deft mind he had behind that bleached-out mask of fey vacuity.
Even if you don't like Warhol...well, if you don't like him I guess you won't like this book, unless you don't really know the incredible variety of his work, and then you might find you do like him, after all. (Of course, you might find that you hate him even more than ever). The fact is, like him or not, to a large degree, you're living in a Warhol world. So much of the ubiquitous design of everyday life--especially the media with which we're bombarded with virtually every waking moment of our lives--has been influenced by Warhol. You might be surprised to discover to what extent this is true.
Warhol was a prophet, too. What, after all, is the internet if not in part a manifestation of his most (in)famous prophecy about the fifteen minutes of fame
everyone can expect to have in the future. Youtube is a Warholian dream come true. The blogosphere, of which this blog that you are presently reading is a part, is the same Warholian dream come true (btw, I use the word "dream" to include the notion of "nightmare.")
I cant tell sometimes whether this book elates me or deflates me. So much of what I thought I would like to do has already been done by Warhol. So much of what there is left for anyone to do would only be a variation of what Warhol did. This is ironic inasmuch as "all" Warhol ever did was copy things.
Another thing that may surprise those who havent already been surprised by this is that Warhol's work is full of art-historical references--its not just a lot of arbitrary chicanery and flim-flam. Even Warhol's cozying up to the rich and powerful has its precedents when artists sought the patronage of kings and popes, who commisioned artists to paint their portraits and design their tombs and palazzos. Dali understood this as well, throwing off the "romantic" notion of the misunderstood, alienated, starving artist. So did Picasso.
Warhol wanted to be Picasso--that is, the artist everyone thinks of when you say the word "artist" even if you don't know anything about art. The way even an illiterate knows that Shakespeare is a great writer and Einstein is the archetype for genius that you use when you want to let someone know what a moron you think they are, as in "Hey, that's it Einstein, step right in front my car, why don't you?" One of these days, I think that will indeed be the case. I think Warhol will eclipse all artists of the last century and join Leonardo as the artist that people think of when people say "artist." God forbid, but probably in a hundred years or so some boob will make a billion dollars with some dreadful book called "The Warhol Code." Well, that's at least one good reason to die, in any event.
"In the sixties," Warhol says, "average types started having sex-identity problems, and some people saw a lot of their own questions about themselves being acted out by drag queens. So then, nautrally, people seemed to sort of want them around--almost as if it made them feel better because then they say to themselves, 'I may not know exactly what I am, but at least I know I'm not a drag queen."
I gave this a lot of thought, wondering if that is what ought to give me some hope about finding a place in the world. Maybe I'm like a temple prostitute in the old days of the goddess Cybele, whose male devotees castrated themselves and donned women's clothing. I live in a liminal space that "normal" people are afraid to inhabit themselves...they need scapegoats like me to inhabit that space for them.
Well, my idea of a review is to natter on about this and that until I've pretty much run out of stuff to say and when I start talking about how I'm like a castrated temple prostitute whose life is devoted to the ancient goddess Cybele, I know that I've pretty much run out of stuff to say...well, at least about "Andy Warhol 365 Takes." Its a great book. I'm not lending my copy to anyone so don't even ask.