People & Places

Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses

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My love for Andy Warhol and Pop Art started when I was a very impressionable 15 year old. I knew jack-shit about art but I liked the fact that it wasn’t “conventional”, that it wasn’t just paint on canvas kinda stuff that we were learning about at school. The bright, vibrant colours he used and the many references to popular culture icons had me hooked faster than you can say silk screen!

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to see many of his exhibitions in person either in Melbourne or schlepping around the country, even making the trek to the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, USA, yep, you could say I was a fan!

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Currently the Jewish Museum of Australia is hosting Warhol’s portrait series Ten Jewish Geniuses; a collection of iconic 20th Century figures; Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka, the Marx brothers, Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Gertrude Stein and Golda Meir.

Warhol wasn’t Jewish and wasn’t particularly interested in Judaism, but believed these portraits would make him lots of money! In 1980 when this collection was first shown critics labelled it tacky and they named Warhol a “business artist” – over time though the naysayers have come to appreciate the collection saying it was “the most brilliant mirror of our times.” Funny thing, that hindsight!

It’s a cute little collection of pieces, that are on loan from around the world, sandwiched together with some of his more well know art like his Campbell’s Soup cans and Brillo boxes.

warhol_jewishgeniuses1One of the aspects I love about Warhol was the fact that he was a commercial artist. Basically, he wanted to be rich, filthy stinking rich! I mean which living artist doesn’t want to make money off their work?? He came off as vague and insincere but really he was an incredibly intelligent businessman who happened to be an amazing visionary as well.

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Check me out partying with the crowd at Studio 54 on my Instagram feed.

Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses is on now until May 2015 at the Jewish Museum – 26 Alma Road, St. Kilda

Check it out if you get the chance!

5 replies »

  1. Looks like a fab exhibit! He truly was a visionary, and who in this world doesn’t want to be dirty, filthy, stinking rich????

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