The Andy Warhol authentication board is disbanding. No longer will they rule on the legitimacy of each piece of Andy’s work so now we’re just on our own. Since Andy didn’t limit his editions or even keep track, and since he stayed away from actual production as much as possible, volatile screenprocess solvents are thought to be harmful to health, and since quality control wasn’t part of the system, it’s quite possible to create a Warhol with little more than a sign-making rig, and who could tell the difference? Nobody seemed to mind that the images were borrowed or that the product looked cheap and tawdry since that’s the beauty of it don’t you see?
Well what this all has to do with junk bonds and phony mortgages I couldn’t say, but it doesn’t seem to be completely different, now does it? Could the same mentality that accepted Andy as a great artist for reproducing soup can labels and cleaning product boxes really fool itself into believing that bogus financial instruments could go on forever – yeah, it’s possible. A market capable of paying out seventy one million dollars for an ugly green smear of a double offset print without the slightest notion of how many were made or how many still exist would be perfectly willing to piss away the future.
Better art may not fix our problems overnight, but images and practices which embody the self-regard, personal integrity, and the character to create the significant instead of just what sells couldn’t be a bad thing to hang around the house. When America starts to evolve and heal from its orgy of self cannibalism, a new art will emerge – the expression of a mature, objective, rational culture.