remembering the many faces of pop art icon, a Pittsburgh native
Warhol's life and work simultaneously satirized and celebrated materiality and celebrity. On the one hand, his paintings of distorted brand images and celebrity faces could be read as a critique of what he viewed as a culture obsessed with money and celebrity. On the other hand, Warhol's focus on consumer goods and pop-culture icons, as well as his own taste for money and fame, suggest a life in celebration of the very aspects of American culture that his work criticized. Warhol spoke to this apparent contradiction between his life and work in his book
via Father Z: the Vatican Museum will hold an exhibition of his paintings.
The Catholic Herald discusses the tension between his art, his art world, his same sex attraction, and his religion.
On April 1, 1987, the most popular artists, actors, fashion designers, writers and musicians in America converged on St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Liza Minnelli showed up, along with Calvin Klein, Tom Wolfe and George Plimpton. Yoko Ono arrived a bit early; she was giving a speech.
One could have easily mistaken Andy Warhol’s memorial service for a society event rather than a religious one, were it not for the eulogy given by the artist’s friend John Richardson.
He spoke of Warhol’s “secret piety”, which “inevitably changes our perception of an artist who fooled the world into believing his only obsessions were money, fame and glamour, and that he was cool to the point of callousness. Never take Andy at face value.” It is this secret piety that the Vatican Museums hope to uncover in their major exhibition of his work next year. Indeed, the Catholic faith is the only constant theme in his strange life.
summary: his faith helped keep him grounded in the chaos of the 1960s... and not just a vague mushy spirituality either:
Religion kept Warhol from going over the brink. He attended Mass almost daily. Other days he would just slip into St Vincent Ferrer on Lexington Avenue, drop into the back pew and pray. He spent his Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters volunteering at a soup kitchen, and befriended the homeless and poor whom he served. He put his nephew through seminary. Though openly gay, he endeavoured to remain celibate throughout his life.
another article here: from Artsy: Ten Reasons Andy Warhol matters.