Thursday, March 19, 2009
HOW NOW MAO COW?
Or "Blue Mao Marilyn Cow"
Or "Marilyn Mao Moo", or
"Why didn't they make the images of Jackie, Liz, Jesus or Nixon into magnets?"
Especially the Nixon one as it was an image of him with the words "vote McGovern" scrawled across the bottom, on paper, attached with tape. I totally would have spent three euro fifty for that magnet. The chuckle upon seeing it was worth 3.5...maybe even worth the 11 euro entrance fee to see the entire Warhol exhibit yesterday at Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais.
When I decided to head over there I didn't realize it was opening day for the exhibit. There were 3 lines to get in: the very important, mostly well-dressed or at least artistically thrown together and not very recently washed because we important artists hardly have time for that we are so busy creating new works which will change society as we know it; the slightly less important but dramatically less well-dressed (animal print capris with matching trim on jacket?--ugh); and then the rest of us (personnes sans billet) who didn't think to purchase museum memberships with our inheritance, nor make a ticket rez in advance, nor even plan an artistic outfit...hence my walkable shoes, jeans, and zip-up cardigan. But I felt mostly secure in my sensible shoes as I watched many a gal hobble past on 4 inch stillettos, smoking and looking hungry.
THANK GOD Andy's parents had the foresight to settle in America as the fact he was American is the only reason I can figure the exhibit explanations were in French and English (somewhat smaller font lest we forget the pre-eminence of the french language). Did you know he was shot by someone (maybe in the 1980's) and barely survived? Me neither. He also considered himself a commercial artist. Which I take to mean he didn't mind making big bucks and wasn't apologetic about it. It reminded me of something I recently read about Paul McCartney and John Lennon. I can not come close to quoting it but the gist was Paul saying they were not just idealists, they used to say things to one another like "let's write ourselves a new swimming pool."
I have to figure seeing the exhibit as an American is somewhat different than from other cultural perspectives...just makes sense. Because really, how many French people, or other nationalities, would look at the Nixon piece and get the joke? Certainly no one under 30 (40?)...for that matter Americans under a certain age probably don't get it. But then getting the insider nuances doesn't mean people everywhere won't enjoy the work. Based on the time I waited in line and the amount of english I heard spoken while there, being American is by no means required.
So ya, did the Warhol, got the magnets.