Events — 16 December 2010
Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures – First Look

New York City’s famed Museum of Modern Art, otherwise simply known as MoMa, has been a local institution, housing some of the greatest minds in modern art history. The deep, impressive collection has spanned  genres and generations with artists from the likes of Dali to Jean Michele Basquit, all represented within its walls.

Yet, it is one artist whose name evokes modern art like none other, the legendary Andy Warhol. Even if you are not an art lover, you know who he is, as his pop art has invaded much of our public space. From, his Campbell’s soup can to his multi-colored picture of Marilyn Monroe, this Pittsburgh native has been on your radar since you were a child.

Warhol’s body of work is so vast, that much of it has not been seen by a wide audience until the present day. Luckily, here in New York we have the amazing resource that is MoMa. On Tuesday, December 14th, we were lucky enough to attend a preview of a truly breathtaking Warhol exhibition at the Museum- Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures.

Motion Pictures is a collection of works created between 1963-1966 where Warhol used black and white film to shoot motion images of many well known figures from the period. In each of these works, subjects like Dennis Hopper, Alan Ginsberg, and Warhol muse Edie Segwick were asked to sit in and be filmed. Once in position, Warhol would film them doing nothing but staring directly into the camera. He then lowered the frame rate of the film. MoMa has transferred these images from film to DVD, with the lowered frame rate intact. Each one is projected on one of four walls, in frames as Warhol originally intended.

Viewing these pieces at the exhibition is quite surreal indeed. Each of these works has a ghost like presence to them. The slowing down of the frame rate was pure brilliance on the part of Warhol. You can stare at one for an extended amount of time and it will continue to impress.

Similarly, the museum itself continues to impress crowds with its daring approach to modern art. MoMa is telling the general public that viewing pieces of art does not have to be a stuffy, boring experience. They literally have something for everyone. Also it must be noted that they have a fantastic gift shop, which comes in handy, since Christmas is right around the corner. Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures runs from December 19th through March 21st 2011. The members only preview is on now. Motion Pictures is a truly unique experience in every sense of the word. It will transport you back to a by gone era where Pop Art was beginning to take shape, and taking risks was seen as heroic. Thank you Andy, we need more people like you these days.

- Alan Smithee

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