Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Allium meets Andy (Warhol)

click photo to enlarge
One of my favourite Pop Art titles is "Donald Duck Meets Mondrian". This wacky painting is by the Scottish sculptor and painter, Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005). In 1947 Paolozzi created a collage, "I was a rich man's plaything" (he went in for great titles!), which is often considered to be the first piece of the Pop Art movement. In his later career the artist worked mainly on sculptures. Many will know his 1995 bronze, "Newton", at the British Library in London: others may recognise his cover for the 1973 Paul McCartney/Wings album, "Red Rose Speedway".

Of course, Paolozzi isn't the first artist that comes to mind when Pop Art is mentioned: that would undoubtedly be the American, Andy Warhol (1928-1987). His rise from commercial illustrator to film maker, record producer and painter (well silk-screen printer) of the rich and famous is well-chronicled and the subject of a number of biopics. I'm not a big fan of Warhol's work: his images, for me, are a matter of "what you see is all you get" - all surface, with no depth. But, it has to be said, the surface is interesting and distinctive, and Warhol is an artist whose style is recognisable across a whole segment of his images. The flat, strong colour, bold shapes, and variations on a theme are familiar to the layman in a way that the work of many better artists is not.

My image today is an affectionate and humorous homage to Warhol, and the title is a nod towards Paolozzi. It takes the idea of repeated versions of the same subject, say, Jackie Kennedy, depicted in loud colours, placed alongside each other. My subject is a touch more everyday than Warhol's became - an Allium from my garden!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 400
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On