by Mindy Love
Love him or hate him, everyone knows Andy Warhol, or at least they know his work. Now you have the chance to see his work if you live in Eastern North Carolina. The David McCune International Art Gallery at Methodist College is featuring 34 works by the late artist in their new exhibit “gallery goes POP: Warhol.”
Growing up in the decade of excess, Andy Warhol was right up there with Swatch Watches, Coca Cola rugby shirts, and other trendy ‘80s items of my teen years. Pop culture was front and center. Commercialism was running rampant alongside shoulder pads, big Aqua Net hair, and coming-of-age Brat Pack movies (which were awesome, by the way!).
Of course I remember the iconic Warhol prints: Campbell’s Soup cans, Elvis, Coca Cola bottles, and my personal favorite, Marilyn Monroe. But did you know that Warhol had numerous other print series? I didn’t. To be honest, I never really thought about it. Although Warhol died in 1987, the impact of his art is still felt today over thirty years later.
Earlier this month I had a chance to view several of his works at the McCune Gallery in a sneak peek before opening night on the 7th. I was blown away. His “Myths” and “Cowboys and Indians” series were so different from the art I remembered as a young girl.
Several things struck me about the Myths series. First, his “myths” included prints of popular culture fixtures such as the Wicked Witch, Santa Claus, Dracula and Superman. But the series also includes The Star (Mata Hari), Mammy, Howdy Doody, and Uncle Sam. Secondly, all of his myths prints had not only the pop of color that you expect from Warhol, but they were sparkly! Finally, the prints were much larger than I anticipated.
Perhaps my favorite print, although it’s really hard to choose, was the colorful bohemian-esque print of Annie Oakley. The colors used by Warhol were bold, like Oakley herself, yet they were feminine as well. Her medals almost resembled vibrant flowers and one can hardly miss her rosy lips and indigo hair.
Most of the prints are on loan from a private collector in Georgia, referred to as The Cochran Collection. The remaining four images are on loan as a courtesy of the Ackland Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Silvana Foti, Executive Director of the McCune Gallery and Yaroslav Borisov from the Methodist University Music Department worked together to create an audio soundtrack to compliment the prints on display.
Borisov used commercials, soundbites from movies and other works to create the audio soundtrack, giving visitors an auditory “viewing” of Warhol’s works that match his prints.
It’s hard to describe this audio accompaniment, you really have to be there to understand. Which is another reason to go see the exhibit! You will not be disappointed.
“What is really going to be particularly fun about this [exhibit] is not just the pieces, but we also have an educator, Nicole Dezelon, from the Andy Warhol Museum on hand for a few days” said Foti. She continued, “This really is a great exhibition that lends itself to not only adults, but obviously children as well. We’re trying to get school children involved.”
I asked Nicole Dezelon of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg what people will take away from this exhibit. She replied, “I hope that visitors to the exhibition will take away that same sense of wonder and intrigue about the “everyday” that Warhol had. He erased the boundaries between high and low art and made art accessible to the masses, it is in this vein that I believe this exhibition offers a little something to everyone.”She continued, “Warhol said “Once you ‘got’ Pop, you could never see a sign the same way again. And once you thought Pop, you could never see America the same way again” Once visitors see this exhibition, they will never see Warhol in the same light again.”
The gallery is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m. They are closed on Sundays, Mondays, and March 4-11, 2019. A donation of $10.00 per person is suggested to cover the cost of the exhibit.
DAVID MCCUNE INTERNATIONAL ART GALLERY
5400 RAMSEY STREET, FAYETTEVILLE, NC 28311
SILVANA FOTI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR