Wednesday Vignette – twice or three times removed

Back in my art school days, I had a fascination with the people making up the Factory entourage – the rag tag collection of interesting, idiosyncratic individuals surrounding Andy Warhol, that could be counted on to partake in all manners of artistically expressive and creative endeavors. When the Wexner Center for the Arts offered an immersion experience of Warhol’s films, I went to see a number of them – single subject, voyeuristic tales with names like Empire, Blowjob, and Sleep. To be perfectly honest, the storylines weren’t great – in fact, it was pretty damn hard to stay awake. The big takeaway for me was the intensity of his detached observation, separated from the subject by a camera lens.

The Warhol exhibit which had been up since October, closed this past weekend. We, along with every other procrastinator in town, scrambled to make it down there, before it was gone. Some of my favorite pieces were from his earlier work – very likely because it was fun to see the stuff that isn’t so famous – it hasn’t yet gotten lost in its overexposure.  Interestingly, photography was allowed for this exhibit. I wish I had known – I would have brought my camera. As it happened, I didn’t, and you will have to make do with phone photos for this week’s Vignette. As I look at the photos I snapped, I realize that I too have voyeuristic tendencies. I found watching  others study and react to the art works  as interesting as the works themselves, especially as they too often watched it through the filter of their own devices. As they photographed the works, I hid behind my lens, and photographed them. Kind of a peculiar act of interactive distancing, don’tcha think?




About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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24 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – twice or three times removed

  1. Peter Herpst says:

    I agree that often watching others interact with the work was as interesting as the work itself. I love listening to what others have to say about art.

  2. Alison says:

    I love people watching so much. I often make up stories about them. I would have been doing the same as you. Your post reminded me of the Observer Effect, do you know about that? That the act of observing something changes its outcome?

  3. People watching, and eavesdropping, is an art form! I practice it regularly. Nice captures Anna.

    My WV:

  4. Kris P says:

    I’ve read articles contending that a focus on picture-taking prevents us from seeing and participating in what lies before us but, as your post indicates, I think it actually just allows a different kind of interaction. I was amused that your post also echoes the prologue of a book I just started reading last night, “The Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles.

    I have a WV this week, although it’s tucked into the middle of a rather long post featuring wide shots from my garden:

    • annamadeit says:

      I think it’s the kind of interaction that would have amused Mr. Warhol himself, had he been alive to experience it. As always, I look forward to wide shots of your garden, Kris! 🙂

  5. Evan Bean says:

    I enjoy watching people who enjoy people watching. (I also enjoyed typing that sentence. lol) I have very little interest in strangers unless I’m with someone who is good at making up funny narratives about them. Otherwise I’m focused inward or on the plants and other non-human elements of the world.

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha – it’s like one of those sets of opposite mirrors. The reflections just go on and on… I’m more like that too – for the most part, you can find me camping out in my own head, and much of the visual clutter of the world passes me by.

  6. Pingback: wv |

  7. rickii says:

    We spent New Year’s Eve at the symphony (Beethoven’s ninth with full chorus for the Ode to Joy), another great place for people-watching. At one point, a child raised hands in the air as if conducting. The silhouette of small arms and hands dancing above the crowd was magical. The WV I have to share, less so:

  8. hoov says:

    Andy would be proud of you!

  9. Tina says:

    I saw the Warhol exhibit when I was last in Portland and enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed your photo-take on the photo-takers.

  10. I had read about this exhibit months ago and then forgot about it. I also forgot to post my link to my VW until now:

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh bummer… Well, I almost missed it, too. Could have sworn it was up until the middle of January, so it was just random luck that I saw the actual closing date somewhere – thus the last-minute scrambling.

  11. christine maciel says:

    What fun to see a little of the Warhol show. Those early works look different even to our ‘modern’ eyes, but they were really mind boggling when they were first shown. He was definitely an innovator! Thanks for sharing.

    • annamadeit says:

      Indeed he was! There were some really fun line-drawing vignettes of famous characters, complete with an often funny poem that told a story. I hadn’t seen those before. Based on the public “aura” of Warhol, I never thought of him as a humorist, so those drawings really opened up a new, humorous side of him that is not often shown, to me. I liked that!

  12. If you are ever in Pittsburgh, be sure to visit the Warhol Museum. It’s quite wonderful and not what I was expecting. I came away really liking and appreciating his work.

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