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Andy Warhol APPetizer – Skull

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At the moment you can unfortunately not experience the exhibition ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITS a glittering alternative live. To shorten the time until the museums open a little, here is a small sample from our mumok APP.

The mumok's multimedia guide can be accessed free of charge via iOS and Android, so you can also take a tour of the exhibitions from home. Have fun!

Andy Warhol, Skull

„To paint a skull is to do the portrait of everybody in the world“, Ronnie Cutrone, an assistant of Andy Warhol remarked. Aside from glamour and star cult, which surrounded Andy Warhol, the most famous Pop artist like no one else, there is a hidden, less known dark dimension: the presence of death. “All I’m doing is connected to death” Warhol famously said. Beginning with the Disaster Paintings of the early Sixties which address the catastrophes of consumer society and their media exploitation the subject of death runs through his entire work. This includes the famous paintings of his icons Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, created shortly after Marilyn’s death and the murder of John F. Kennedy respectively up to the series of sculls in 1976.

In Skull Warhol places the insignia of death at the centre of his painting with unconcealed directness. The slightly opened mouth and the deep set, shaded eye sockets lend an eerie expressivity to the skull. The roundedness of the composition and the blithe gestural use of garish poppy colours come in as a contradictory element. The subject might well be reminiscent of numerous memento mori depictions in the history of art, yet Warhol does not symbolically elevate death. The Skull series goes into what mass culture is overtly avoiding: Feelings of anonymity, desperation and fear of death.