Warhol and Friends

Today I visited Ferens Art Gallery in Hull having not been in there for a number of years. I was really pleased to find that they are currently doing an Andy Warhol exhibition, including work from Warhol and those inspired by him. You’ll notice that my featured image doesn’t reflect work by the man himself – this being because I was unable to photograph the main exhibition. Yes, I could have taken some sneaky snaps of his iconic images, but I have a very conspicuous camera!

The pieces above were not in the Warhol exhibit, and are by photographers (from right to left) Nan Goldin and Bettina Von Zwehl. I especially love Goldin’s image, entitled ‘My parents kissing on their bed’. I love photographic portraits, especially very emotionally charged ones – you can do so much with people as subjects! The shot seems very candid; like we are watching a very private moment. The description of the work stated that the photographer wanted to address the taboo idea of intimacy between their parents. I don’t see it exactly that way personally, but then, I am not their child  or the photographer. Von Zwehl’s ‘Alina’ collection seems to be purposefully emotionless – all in white – and yet thought provoking at the same time.

The Warhol exhibit has been brought to Hull by Artist Rooms, which tours collections of iconic post-war art to UK galleries. One room in the Ferens was showcasing a large collection of his poster work, including some famous prints of Marilyn Monroe and the Purple Cow. There was also a film playing about his life and a number of large books – which were available from the gift shop for the usual hefty price – dotted around the place.

One room was dedicated to his lesser-known ‘stitched on paper’ images, shrouded in very dim lighting to protect the original prints. These are photographs printed onto paper that Warhol has stitched together to create a repeated and abstract effect on an otherwise non-abstract image. A couple of  pieces  from this collection really stuck in my head. There was a portrait of  Grace Jones (a woman who seems just as eccentric as Warhol himself… if not more) and one other entitled ‘Cadaver’. Never again will I wonder what the skinned insides of a human leg and foot looks like…

Before going to the Ferens Gallery on a complete whim, I had not taken much of an interest in Warhol. Now, though, I can see why he is such an icon and I did quite enjoy seeing a lot of his, and other people’s work on display here.

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