Andy Warhol Exhibition at The Whitworth

Exhibition open from 19th Nov 2016 – 16 April 2017.Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThe work of the legendary painter Andy Warhol is currently being featured at The Whitworth as part of the ‘Artist Rooms’ exhibitions. The critical artist also known as the ‘salesman’ of the art world is famously known for his Pop Art. The themes of death, identity, politics and the American Dream are a running theme within Warhol’s artwork. Which also ties in with the recent news of the U.S.A presidential election, 2016. With the exhibition launch just a few days after the US Presidential election, it highlights the sharp and critical views that Warhol had of America in a new light. With the themes of politics portrayed through repeated dollar signs and guns which are still to this day culturally powerful.

 

 

Andy Warhol who died almost 30 years ago, is still seen as one of the most iconic and influential contemporary artists of the 20th century. Warhol’s most famous pieces of work that many will recognise were linked to celebrity culture and advertising, such as dollar bills, Campbell’s Soup Can, Coca-Cola bottles and also he painted legendary stars such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

‘What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca-Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca-Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca-Cola, too.” – Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol’s eerie obsession with death began when he was shot by feminist activist, Valerie Solanas in 1968. He was pronounced dead but then received an open-heart massage where he was revived.img_0398 This traumatic experience inspired the darker side of Andy Warhol to focus all his artwork around the idea of death, and even displayed the scars of his attack for the world to see. The theme of death runs through the group of abstract paintings called ‘The Shadows’ in the 1970s.

Gun.img_0397

img_0401In Warhol’s 1981 duo of repeated frames, ‘The gun’ illustrated here, is a similar type of model (22 snub-nosed pistol) that Solanas used in her attack. The painting represents the artist’s judgement of violent culture in society. ‘Gun’ along with the various other repeated frames, were painted 13 years prior to his near death incident. Andy Warhol was never the same after the attack, the murder attempt left him in a shaken state, he was both physically and mentally scarred and this showed through his art.

 

 

The Electric Chair img_0405

The Electric chair series is an unnerving yet fascinating arrangement of silk-screened paintings. Warhol first painted the iconic electric chair in 1963, over the years he continually returned to the painting to reflect on the political debate of the death penalty America in the 1960s. The painting symbolises a metaphor for death. In 1968 Warhol recreated the original electric chair painting, into a series of paintings. The original was cropped to have the main focus on the electric chair and was screened in multiple colours.   By the artist’s account, the replication of the image was intended to “empty” it of meaning, it shows a different view of the world.


(Footage by That’s Manchester)

If you are a fan or not of Andy Warhol, I would definitely recommend visiting the exhibition. A good thing about The Whitworth is that is has free entry, so I wouldn’t miss this amazing opportunity to see some of the best contemporary art from the legendary artist himself.
Below is a few other photos of the exhibition.

 

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Manchester’s Street Art Scene

Manchester’s Northern Quarter is widely known for its hipster alternative and bohemian like culture, it is home to canvas like streets brimming with vibrant graffiti. It is here where many artists visit to share their visions of art with the people of Manchester. The Northern Quarter is teeming with independent cafes, craft beer gardens, vinyl stores, boutique shops, quirky bars, live music and cultural hotspots. So if you are into the quirky lifestyle, the Northern Quarter would be right up your street.

‘The Wall’ Church Street. (Ride Low bike shop)Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

There is no doubt though however, that the Northern Quarter is a truly magical place due to the striking artwork that masks the cobbled streets. I consider myself to be an art enthusiast, and street art in particular. I find myself continually on the lookout for art wherever I go and am always keen to get a good artistic shot for my Instagram. In Manchester the art is not hidden out of sight, it is wanted to be seen, it is wanted to be rightfully appreciated and truly memorable. In this city the art finds you, I mean it is hard not to notice the great big huge murals painted in pulsating colours on the buildings, you can’t miss them.  Manchester is proud of its art, and so it should be but not only is the art aesthetically pleasing but the art also has meaning.

Watch this video of the Northern Quarter


(Full credit to Tuheedz video footage)

The area recently in May 2016, was revamped as street artists gathered from around the world to partake in the Cities of Hope Festival. The Cities of Hope festival is a street art festival that focuses on some key social justice issues by painting inspired murals to raise awareness and fundraising for local charities. The festival took place over a 9 day period and included 9 elite street artists, consisting of Hyuro, Pichiavo, Phlegm, Martin Whatson, C215, Faith47, Nevercrew, Axel Void and Case. It transformed Manchester’s Northern Quarter into a breath-taking spectacle that many now come to visit as a tourist attraction.

Dale Grimshaw’s Globalisation piece. Spear Street.
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Akse P19

One of Manchester’s favourite street artists would be Akse. Akse is a French street artist who started painting in 1992 he is well know for his life like portraits of various famous legends.People are Akse’s inspiration. Akses most famous work would be his tributes to the recent deaths of both legends, David Bowie and Prince. The tribute for David Bowie was a part of the ‘Out House’ project. As a Bowie fan myself, I believe this Muriel is a wonderful way of celebrating such an unique and influential musician’s life. The Northern Quarter is home to many independent vinyl shops and indie music venues, and it seems appropriate that the legendary Bowie is a part of the street art landscape.

David Bowie tribute,Stevenson Square.IMG_7201.JPG

Prince tribute, Tib Street.IMG_7199.JPG

“I stand for Graffiti/Street Art. Spreading my Art on public spaces for the people to enjoy for free, that’s what I love to do. This is my Life.”-Akse for Dr.Martens


(Akse’s video produced by Charlie Watts)

Akse has also recently partnered up with the iconic Dr Martens, to create a mural project inspired by the new ‘Splash Mono’Collection, which can be found on Back Turner Street in the NQ.
“The piece was inspired by the design of the boot. The “slime/splash” and “black & white” were strong characteristics so I decided to play around these features, hence the drips and monochrome composition.”-Akse (http://blog.drmartens.com/tag/akse/)

Watch Akse in action below…


(Akse,video by Bulldog Digital)

img_0344Akse’s son.

Various other street art in Manchester and where to find it.

C215 Warwick Streetimg_0349Warwick Street

Stevenson Square.

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Tib Street.img_0334

Gay Village Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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What are your favourite art spots in Manchester, let me know in the comment section.