An exhibit in DuPage County is paying tribute to the late, great pop artist Andy Warhol with the aim of providing deeper context for the famed cultural figure.
Repeated prints in vibrant colors, Studio 54 and his personal photographs. These are just some of the elements included in a one-of-a-kind exhibition honoring Warhol.
“Andy Warhol’s personal life was always hidden or not well known. We have photos from that personal life, from people close to him, different connections,” said Justin Witte, curator of the Cleve Carney Museum of Art. “I think anytime we can humanize someone like Warhol that is a specific character, I think it is important and valuable because then you make that real connection to him.”
Now on display at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, the exhibition was born from a personal collection of more than 150 portraits from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Project.
With more than 200 Warhol pieces ranging from silk screens to his recognizable prints, curator Witte hopes this exhibition provides a different perspective to the creative that started as a commercial artist.
“He was always very aware of how he could use his presence or his personality to help gain attention and to be at the forefront of different movements,” Witte said. “He was not born into affluence. He was born to a working class family in industrial Pittsburg in 1928 … He learned early on the importance of working hard.”
Much of Warhol’s influence is said to come as a result of losing his father at a young age, and how it impacted his view of life and death – a major theme throughout his work.
“You see throughout his work there is an understanding of mortality and kind of immortality wrapped together,” Witte said.
“Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop Art” runs at the MAC at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn, through Sept. 10. For more information visit theccma.org.
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Angel Idowu is the JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation Arts Correspondent.