by gabriela scarritt
Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe 1967 is being updated all the time in homes around th world whenever a proud owner of an Apple computer plays around with his or her new personal computer and discovers Photobooth's Pop Art setting.
Warhol brought people like Marilyn Monroe to the canvas to produce art out of popular culture, whether or not he was criticizing or celebrating celebrity. His portraits represent the most famous people of his era. A place in the quadrants of his work was a testimony to the subject's success and popularity.
Nowadays getting an Andy Warhol-like portrait is as easy as saying cheese to your computer and clicking a mouse. But then again, so is fame. In today's world, just about anyone can become famous for just about anything thanks to the internet. Websites like YouTube, myspace, and blog sites allow individuals to broadcast themselves to the world. It seems that everyone wants to be a celebrity, and everyone has the potential to be a celebrity. The broadcasting/receiving relationship that exists in television (even in static images such as painting or photogray) has become two-way. The public has been given the resources to let the world see them. In response to this cultural trend, I decided to portray the modern celebrity: you. Or everyone. To update Warhol's "Marilyn Monroe," I collected self-portraits in the Pop Art style, of which there were surprisingly many, from flickr.com. The Pop Art setting does not produce the exact same color scheme as Warhol's work. The self-portraits are indeed a poor man's Warhol. But that again reflects our current situation. Individuals produce in mass but often not with the same quality.
The great shock that came with Warhol's work was not only that he was representing popular culture in his work, but that he brought popular culture to high art. His paintings hung in distinguished galleries and yet portrayed Campbell's Soup cans. In order to maintain this transplanting of culture, I made a photobook of the self-portraits. Because the realm of the "You" celebrity exists only on the web, I decided to take the images to print. The book looks almost like it could be a guide to a gallery where paintings of anonymous strangers (or present/future celebrities) hang.
Even though Warhol brought pop culture to high culture, his intent for this string of portraits was to make them look like they came off an assembly line. He did this as a response to the industrial nature of the times. My book most likely did come off of an assembly line, but it was produced in a factory specifically for me, which reflects the times we live in which values mass specialization of products.
Warhol was almost prophetic when he said, "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." New media has given everyone the opportunity to become famous, as well as the hope that they will.
-Collect images from flickr.com
-Create cover image from image from allposters.com
-Put in the images from flickr as well as the person's flickr user name
-Create self-portrait for the final page
-Buy book from Apple. Only $9.99!! (Plus shipping).