Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Paradoxical Orthodoxy, Part I

I recently ran across a print of, and was temporarily amused by, THIS: one of Andy Warhol's '10 Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century'. Not surprisingly, when Fr. Barry put up THIS POST, I was immediately struck not merely by the similarity of composition and pose, but primarily by the similarly piercing look from the eyes of both child and man. So, I copied Warhol-the product of such craftiness you see here.

And now I feel really dirty.

And I feel bad for my friend, whose son is neither an important Jew, nor a product of the 20th century; who unwittingly endured this cute boy's image being pimped for my tax-preparation procrastinational amusement.

At any rate, It's curious to me that Warhol, a devout Byzantine Catholic, would turn out the way he did, or rather, would produce the art that he produced. Well, quite frankly, I have no idea what kind of person he was really like, as the accounts vary greatly. But inviting friends to pee on his art for effect aside, he was by his pastor's account, a daily communicant. This is really, really problematic for me, and I'm not entirely convinced that I know why yet, or even that it should be so.

It would be quite easy to ridicule his style as a joke, and many have, including myself. Truly, if I could generate a fairly close rendition of the same within an hour, then one must, like TOLSTOY, question not only whether this particular is to be considered in the genus 'art' but with more urgent priority, what art is.

Clearly, Warhol viewed his craft in two distinct ways: what it was as a thing in and of itself, and what it was to him as an artist/techne. As a thing in and of itself, his craft seems to have simply been the schizophrenic bastard of capitalism and socialism. He enjoyed reaping the benefits of his mass-produced art suitable for the common man and aristocrat alike. But what it was to him as producer seems to be more complex. Warhol was very much like, and very much unlike, the eponymous ANDREI RUBLEV...

1 comment:

"Father Barry" said...

Of significantly more interest to me than the Warhol "interpretation" is the Rublev reference. Do I take that as a sign that you've finished the film?

(Oh, and I don't think I'll ever really be able to look at that photo again. Thanks very much.)