A tossed salad of poetry, art and ideas.
“Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.” — Oscar Wilde
This past month I visited the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. In many respects it was an impressive overview of a significant artist’s life and work. And the argument can be made that no 20th century artist exemplified the Oscar Wilde quote above better than Warhol, for it was Warhol who glibly stated, “Art is whatever you can get away with.”
One room of the museum was dedicated to Warhol’s collaborations with the street artist Basquist. The picture at the top of this page is a painting from that collaboration. It looked to be approximately 30 feet in length and was created by urinating onto a canvas painted with metallic paint. The chemical reactions created “blooms of color, which changed in concentration.”
I’m guessing that as the two artists (Warhol and Basquiat) worked together pushing boundaries, one of them must have suggested this idea as a test for the other, as if to say, “How far do you want to go with this?” Whichever one suggested it, the other was evidently all in. Or all out, depending on how you look at it.
That famous Picasso quote comes to mind at this point: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
Or as my mother used to say, “Boys will be boys.”