So you go to Andy Warhol’s exhibition for the first time, the great Andy Warhol, and it isn’t Marilyn Monroe’s picture, the Campbell’s soup cans, or Mao Tse Tung’s portrait that touches you but an electric chair portrait.
Electric Chair is part of a series with electric chairs in different colors. The one I saw was lilac, on the same style of every famous – or no so famous – people he had painted and she gave me this commotion. I wasn’t sad or mad: In fact, the chair made me laugh, and it wasn’t for what it represented (obviously), but for the context that it brought to my mind.
The curator was expecting to connect Andy’s works with our quotidian in the digital era and – guess what?, she’s right. Everyone is unanimous in saying we have a beautiful life through the computer. We show we are beautiful, cool, happy and my advice: Keep doing it.
It can sound too “Matrix the movie” style, but I think our online lies will save us. The “big machine” knows where we went, with who, what we ate, but it doesn’t really know what is going on there. It doesn’t see you fighting with the kids to come, calm and take a picture; it doesn’t see you discussing with your friend to pick a place to go, but it gets that selfie-smile.
By the way and a parenthesis here: I LOVE to see people taking selfies. I love this before / after picture. It’s amazing how fast that big smile comes and fades out in a flash, it’s basically an Oscar by second!
It’s great we’re lying to this people in charge of the way we communicate. We don’t realize it, but they create this virtual world because they struggled in the real one. Ironically, communication is being controlled by people that don’t know how to communicate, so they reinvented it.
Excellent, they deserve it all: They deserve our lies but we don’t need to believe on them. Andy Warhol’s electric chair is pop, is cool, is rich (as everyone online) and it doesn’t represent the real me – and I hope it doesn’t represent yours either.
PS: The Whitney Museum is a beautiful place and always has a great exhibition available. The Andy’s exhibition is amazingly complete and it’s fascinating to see his geniality in live. If you have the chance, or friend that could be there, please: spread the word, Amen.