Andy Warhol & Roy Lichtenstein Discuss Their Life Work in Vintage Film
This film is an essential document in art history.
There are two different ways of looking at a work of pop art: recognizing it as a faithful and worthy reflection of its time or discrediting it as one of the most irreverent movements in the history of art. Or, perhaps there are two ways to look at any work of art: you either love it or you hate it, with anything in between qualifying as indifference.
In this 1966 video, Roy Lichtenstein (New York 1923-1997) and Andy Warhol (Pennsylvania, 1928-1987) talk about their work and the experiences that inspire it; they discuss what they consider pop art in general. The work of both artists sought to recreate the essence of mass production, focusing on ordinary objects, products recontextualized as art.
Lichtenstein appears particularly articulate in the film, speaking confidently about his work and explaining his creative process in detail. At work in his studio, he reflects on the development of his style, delivering poignant insights about the temperament of the age of mass-consumerism. Its aggressiveness and simplification, Lichtenstein explains, are qualities that he wanted to explore in his art.
Andy Warhol sits behind impenetrable sunglasses and a closed-off body language, constantly digressing from the interviewer’s questions. Footage of his studio, interspersed with Warhol’s evasive and rambling answers, traces out the origins of his attitude of ignorance: the same simplification that Lichtenstein described. The unknowable artist comes out as a kind of artist who claims to know nothing.
One never leaves an art gallery quite the same person who walked in. Whether one’s views change or remain intact, art is always a challenge. The same goes for watching this film on pop art: the documentary could either demystify the movement or reaffirm what you already believed about it. Either way, this vintage film is a fascinating watch, sure to inspire and fuel discussion.
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