“Pop” over for art at the Quail’s Nest

Pop into the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre July 1 to 6, when the Ripoff Artists take on Andy Warhol, the king of Pop Art himself. Warhol (1928-1987) is best known for his paintings and silk screen prints of Campbell’s Soup and Coca Cola, and for his brightly coloured portraits of celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Mao Tse-tung and Marilyn Monroe. Many of his images are so familiar, they’re well-known iconic images themselves.

Pop Art, an art movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s, was a reaction against fine art, which had become so elitist, the average person couldn’t understand it. Abstract expressionism was the premier style of the moment, with lots of brushstrokes, colour and unclear imagery, or no imagery at all. Pop art instead used cartoon art and the clean-lines and clear representations of commercial art and advertising to poke fun at the art establishment, and to make ironic statements about modern life and society as a whole.

Besides paintings and prints, Warhol made films, managed a rock band, The Velvet Underground, and hosted parties at his studio, The Factory, in New York. In the Swinging Sixties, his parties became the place to see and be seen, and careers were made for artists, models and actors simply by being a friend of Warhol’s.

He’s also known for personal eccentricities: his monotone way of speaking, his 40 platinum blonde wigs, his “uniform” of all black or black and white clothing. His life became his medium. One of his constant themes was the relationship between popular culture, celebrity and art. Perhaps his best-known phrase is that we all get “fifteen minutes of fame.”

For their fifteen minutes of fame, the Ripoff Artists will explore his many self-portraits as their warm-up artworks, followed by digging into his portraits of Marilyn Monroe. During the week of July 2 to 6, the artists will be at work at the Studio building in the Quail’s Nest Art Centre, 5840 Airport Street, in Oliver, from 9 am to 3 pm. The public is encouraged to come in and see what they’re up to! An opening reception on Monday July 1 from 6 to 8 will feature 1960s party food. Wear your best mod outfit and come down for your own fifteen minutes of fame!

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