Andy was absolutely truthful, and his art helped a generation lie. Instead of creating an engaging, thoughtful image people would want to see, he reproduced the Brillo box and the soup can with the most varieties, already the most commonly seen images by the largest number of people, banal and empty. This inversion of cognitive process became his brilliant gimmick, selling out art with a candid panache, and universally lowering expectations with his crude counterfeiting. He ran a sweatshop art production operation he called “the factory”, without irony, and expressed total disinterest in the subject of art –- “that’s a man’s name”, said he. He derided human aspiration, most famously stating that, “in the world of the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” The ensuing total desolation of the human spirit he kept to himself.
So the evening news degenerates into tabloid sensation, communal credit cards have been maxed-out, and we are confronted with presidential candidates simply unworthy of ridicule. Surely, there’s no connection. Could it be that reducing the notion of art to blotty celebrity posters and squeezing the dollars out of the corpse is the direct visual metaphor for the atavistic mentality that wrecked the economy, abandoned and exploited vast constituencies, and declared the highest attainment of all to be the acquisition of enormous wealth, banal and empty? If there was a connection, not a correlation but, actually, an identity, art would be ‘real’, and would both reflect and determine how we see ourselves and how we see the world. Time to take art more seriously --