Andy Warhol, Self: Portrait

Beauties in photographs are different from beauties in person. It must be hard to be a model, because you’d want to be like the photograph of you, and you can’t ever look that way. And so you start to copy the photograph. Photographs usually bring in another half-dimension. 

Beauty really has to do with the way a person carries it off. When you see “beauty,” it has to do with the place, with what they’re wearing, what they’re standing next to, what closet they’re coming down the stairs from. 
Everybody’s sense of beauty is different from everybody else’s. When I see people dressed in hideous clothes that look all wrong on them, I try to imagine the moment when they were buying them and thought, “This is great. I like it. I’ll take it.” You can’t imagine what went off in their heads to make them buy those maroon polyester waffle-iron pants or that acrylic halter top that has “Miami” written in glitter. You wonder what they rejected as not beautiful—an acrylic halter top that had “Chicago”? Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again). 

People will differ on the way Andy Warhol dressed or chose to present himself, but everyone recognizes the importance of his statements on fashion. In the last statement we can see Warhol taking on the role of fashion police, aghast at the spectacle of some haplessly dressed person. Yes, we’ve all wondered: “what was she thinking?” This page was edited by Deborah Parker and Anne Kinney, Professor of East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Virginia.
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2 Responses to Andy Warhol, pt.1

  1. Carly says:

    The post about Andy Warhol stood out to me, not only because I am extremely interested in Warhol as an artist but because I was automatically drawn to the images on the post. Warhol’s expression in the photo is one of judgment, as he is seen looking out in a pensive manner. This image plays to the write up that follows on Warhol’s insight about fashion, clothing and beauty. Warhol speaks about how he acts as a bit of a “fashion police,” often confused as to how someone could think what he or she is wearing was beautiful enough to purchase. He goes on to say that everyone’s idea of beauty is different, but that we all strive to recreate pictures, something that is simply unattainable. He says, “Beauties in photographs are different from beauties in person.” If you don’t realize this, and are like the many who want to look like they do in a picture, you will drive yourself crazy. In pictures all of the elements around you are controlled in order to create the perfect scene. In real life we have no control over these things. I think Warhol is insightful and his words call to an issue that many people face today, issues surrounding body image and confidence. Warhol says that one can only truly be seen as a “beauty,” if they are able to carry themselves and wear their clothes in the right way. If you don’t know how to pick out the right clothes, and “rock” your outfit with confidence, there is no way that others will see you as beautiful. Warhol’s way of thinking may not be how everyone sees beauty, but for him ones clothing is essential to how they are perceived. I think that this post was particularly interesting to me, because of the interplay between the image and the writing. What Warhol says, as well as the manner that he speaks about clothing seems reflective of the expression that he makes in his piece entitled Self: Portrait (the image shown on the post). It is fascinating to me that Warhol chose this image of himself for his “self portrait.” Thus, he felt this expression was reflective of himself as a person, and/or how he wanted other to view him.

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