19 December 2009

Andy Warhol on Comic Books and Camp

No other artist is as much identified with Pop Art as Andy Warhol. The media called him the Prince of Pop. Warhol made his way from a Pittsburgh working class family to an American legend...In the sixties Warhol started painting daily objects of mass production like Campbell Soup cans and Coke bottles. The quintessence of Andy Warhol art was to remove the difference between fine arts and the commercial arts used for magazine illustrations, comic books, record albums or advertising campaigns. He died in 1987. - Excerpted from Gallery Warhol. [link]
Andy Warhol and Nico for Esquire Magazine photo shoot, 1967
Myths: Santa Claus -- Warhol, 1981
Myths: Superman -- Warhol, 1981
Batman logo- Warhol, circa late 196o's
Warhol's Batman logo on promo poster for
a Warhol art exhibit in Torino, Italy, 1989
I've only recently discovered that Andy Warhol loved superheroes as much as he did, but for an artist nicknamed the Prince of Pop, his affinity for Superman and Batman only makes sense. Warhol was extremely enamored with Batman comics, and in 1964 he produced and directed his homage to the character, the film Batman Dracula starring the rather appropriately named Gregory Battcock. Warhol made his movie without the permission of DC Comics, and screened it only during his art exhibits to avoid legal complication. As a result, Batman Dracula -- which is considered to be the very first depiction of a blatantly campy Batman -- from being much known beyond the art scene. In case you're wondering, Warhol's movie came two years before Adam West's Batman TV series, which first aired in January, 1966.
Warhol's Batman was actually thought completely lost until just three years ago, when several lengthy scenes from the film showed up in a 2006 documentary. Coincidentally, , Warner Bros. released their two -hour animated The Batman Vs Dracula movie in 2005.

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