Happy birthday, Andy Warhol, subverter of American guilelessness
It seems odd to call someone who glorified nothingness a visionary, but that Andy Warhol managed to fill our culture with meaning while pretending to empty it out was the genius of the Warhol brand. Through his subversion of American guilessness, Warhol managed to pack a half century of social criticism into monosyllables, and the more he neutralized himself, the more he said about us. While at moments his arch egalitarianism placed him on the periphery of some New York art circles, he reinvented art nonetheless, and his work was a newly minted and radical mix of high and low culture, from his grocery store aesthetic to his alternate Hollywood star system of intellectuals, drag queens, hustlers and junkies.
So Happy Birthday, Andy, and not simply because you were howlingly droll, uncanny and brilliant, or because you stuffed the 20th century zeitgeist into a soup can for us, but because in spite of the fact we never actually knew you, you seem truer for it, and because we love you more than ever.
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Culture News By Laura Smith
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