21st century fame wouldn’t be what it is without the influence of Andy Warhol. Because of him, we care about the personality of the star just as much, if not more than, the work they create. If he were alive today, Warhol would absolutely be consumed with celeb blogs, weekly tabloids, and hot takes on Twitter. (He’d totally live for Keeping Up With The Kardashians.)
The prolific Pop Art artist blended celebrity and art effortlessly together. His silkscreens of movie stars (Marilyn) and leaders (Mao) are iconic but less famously, he was an experimental filmmaker as well. He often provided little instruction to his actors; instead setting up the camera, turning it on and off, and encouraging his stars to be act largely like themselves. Warhol invented his own idea of the Superstar, which was often characterized by the actresses, models, socialites and artists he hung around with.
His films, mostly made in The Factory in New York, were sexy, excessive, and completely riveting bacchanals. He hit his stride in the mid-60s when he began exploring themes of masculinity, homosexuality, beauty, and eroticism on film.
The latest TIFF Bell Lightbox exhibit, Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen, brings Warhol’s art and celebrity to Toronto from Oct. 30 to Jan. 24 2016. The exhibit does focus on Warhol memorabilia around fame (photos, tributes to Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak, etc.) It will also screen his films in the programme Nothing Special: Andy Warhol’s Star System, including his box office hit, The Chelsea Girls, which feature many of the Superstars he created. To celebrate this exhibit, we take a closer look at who these Superstar women in his life and films really were.
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