Posts Tagged ‘Andy Warhol’

Handpicked by President Obama as the host city of last week’s G-20 economic conference, Pittsburgh may finally be getting its due.

While most news coverage of the event was more concerned with the art of global financial negotiations than with the artwork hanging on the walls of the city’s museums, a different kind of story caught my eye. That would be Michelle Obama’s selection of The Andy Warhol Museum as the cultural destination to show off to the husbands and wives of the visiting dignitaries. While the heads of state were wrangling over bankers’ compensation and fossil fuel subsidies, their spouses were busy silk screening one of Warhol’s flower images onto tote bags at the museum.

first ladies

First Ladies of the G-20 -- From left: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Sarah Brown, an unidentified woman, and Michelle Obama (Crown Copyright Photo)

If we needed any confirmation that Warhol is an American icon (listen to Studio 360’s homage here), this was it. With the first lady’s endorsement, Pittsburgh’s most celebrated pop artist is now as American as… Campbell’s Soup. Think about it: he was obsessed with fame; he was a product of commercialism if there ever was one; and he was a free-thinking pioneer who remade the world in his own image. How much more American can you get?


Andy Warhol - "Self-Portrait," 1986

BTW: We’re eagerly anticipating a visit from another of Pittsburgh’s favorite sons: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon will be on Studio 360 next week to talk about his new book, Manhood for Amateurs. Stay tuned.

– Jordan Sayle

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I heart the front

I heart the front

Once in a while, a listener will write in to Studio 360 asking for a transcript of a story we’ve broadcast. Unfortunately, we don’t have transcripts of the shows (it’s just too time consuming and we have a very small staff), so we normally direct our listeners to the free streaming audio and mp3 downloads available on our website.

Last week, however, we noticed an unusual feature of the WNYC web site (our home station) – an automatic transcript generator. This sounds dull, but bear with us. The automated transcript generator listens to each week’s show and, through what we can only assume is a very complex bit of speech-recognition wizardry, produces a written transcript. One caveat – it warns that the transcript “may not be 100% accurate.”

And, no, it’s not 100% accurate. But as with Google’s translator, the mistakes can be entertaining.

At the beginning of last week’s show, bestselling author George Dawes Green says: “I love the fact that I write thrillers – mean, I just love that word, I love the effrontery of it.” According the auto transcription: “I love the fact that I write thrillers and I just love that word I love the front Korea.”

Then, where Kurt says, “if you spent ten years on one of the best sitcoms ever, like Lisa Kudrow, you’d think you’d have a favorite episode,” the transcription writes: “if you spend ten years on one of the best sitcoms ever likely to cool growth you think you’d have a favorite episode.” Phew, glad all that growing has cooled off since we started watching “Friends”!

Now, it may be asking too much to expect the transcription software to know Lisa Kudrow’s name. Still, the auto-transcriber did a pretty good job here – only a missed word or two. But perhaps our favorite auto-transcription mayhem turned up in the story about Andy Warhol’s soup cans (broadcast 8/8/09). At the beginning of the piece, we hear a series of voices tell us their favorite soup can. Here’s what the auto-transcriber made of it: “Chicken news disorders like excellent Ottawa spirals came out mansion. It’s going to be two minute.”

Come again?

(Listen to the original here:)

– Matt Frassica

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What happens when you mix the King of Pop with the King of Pop Art? The answer is Andy Warhol’s 1984 portrait of Michael Jackson, which will hit the New York auction block later this month. The bidding will start at $840,000, but since both Jackson and Warhol are dead, the piece is expected to sell for much, much more. “We estimate this painting, created in 1984, will sell for $1 million to $10 million,” said Ruth Vered, owner of the Vered Gallery, which will be selling the portrait.

How much do you think it’s worth?

Andy Warhol's 26-by-30-inch painting of Michael Jackson, now at a gallery in The Hamptons, celebrates the success of "Thriller"

Time Magazine commissioned Warhol to do the painting after the record-breaking sales of Jackson’s album Thriller.

Studio 360’s most recent episode explores the life and work of Warhol. You can hear all about Warhol’s relationship with The Velvet Underground and more rock stars, past and present.

-Kelly Sullan

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They leave every day from Grand Central Terminal — train cars and subway cars. But yesterday, New Yorkers witnessed a rarer departure: art cars.

Two weeks ago, an installation of four BMW art cars arrived at Grand Central straight from a show at the L.A. County Museum of Art. Yesterday they left NYC on an express line to Mexico for a three-city museum tour.

I got to see the show when it stopped in here in New York: four BMW race cars painted by some of the greatest artist of the modern era. Cars by Frank Stella and Andy Warhol were a special treat. They’re numbered (having actually raced) and for me, that removes some of the preciousness inherent to modern art and replaces it with high-performance automobile design. Joining them were cars by Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg and a huge swath of Robin Rhode’s “An Expression of Joy” canvas. It’s a 30X40-foot section of a bigger work that Rhode painted with a 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster. (That’s right, with.)

Rauschenberg: 635 CSi

Rauschenberg: 635 CSi

Lichtenstein: 1977 BMW 320i

Lichtenstein: 1977 BMW 320i

Stella: 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL

Stella: 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL

Warhol: 1979 BMW M1

Warhol: 1979 BMW M1

Robin Rhode's "An Expression of Joy"

Robin Rhode: 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster

The art cars on tour belong to a collection of 16 that BMW has commissioned over the years. The first was the brainchild of Hervé Poulain. Hoping to make his car more distinctive in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, Poulain asked his friend Alexander Calder to give it a paint job. What followed was what may be the best ever execution of corporate sponsored art. (Ernest Fuchs, A.R. Penck, David Hockney, and Jenny Holzer are just a few of BMW’s other contributing artists.)

Predating what I consider to be an unfortunate homogenization trend in automotive design, the signature BMW look of these cars would be a treat to behold even without cosmetics — but with, they were enough to rubberneck even the most focused of New York’s racing commuters.

If you’re sorry to have missed this bit of automotive goodness (and you won’t be in Mexico anytime soon), fear not. Studio 360 has a couple of car segments in the shop getting tuned up for broadcast in the not so distant future.

– Kurt S. Schlachter

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