UPDATED. AMBASSADOR'S BLOG - ANDY WARHOL AND UKRAINE

Kyiv
09.09.11




Note: Since this blog was first published, Anthony Williams wrote to us about Artsy's new Andy Warhol page.  We think it is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to know more about Andy Warhol.  The page includes his biography, over 600 of his works, 20 articles from Artsy's world class editorial team, and news all upcoming exhibitions – it really is a unique Andy Warhol resource and a highly recommended site to visit!

To the Mironova Gallery in Kyiv for the opening of the exhibition "Pop Art and its Kings", featuring rare, recently rediscovered 1963 and 1964 photos of cult pop artists Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana by the photographer William John Kennedy.  The black and white pictures are fascinating, showing the two artists on the eve of their 15 minutes of fame.  This is the first time the photos have been shown in Europe: the organisers tell me they chose Kyiv because of Andy Warhol's Ukrainian background.  According to Wikipedia, Warhol's parents were Rusyns from the town of Miko, now Mikova, in what is now Slovakia but was, when they emigrated to the United States, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Warhol himself was born in Pittsburgh in 1928.  

I've blogged before about the tumultuous history and multi-ethnic background of western Ukraine.  The complex heritage of Andy Warhol's family is another reminder of how this region has been fought over for centuries.  All of this seems to me to point to the immense success of the European Union in creating stability between countries which historically have been prone to conflict; and another example of why Ukraine's integration into the EU is fundamentally a good thing.   

You can see a short video about William John Kennedy and his subjects here.  I recommend the video for not only featuring the still extant photographer and Robert Indiana, but also other '60s legends including Ultra Violet, 1960s photos of whom feature in the exhibition; iconic '60s film clips; and a soundtrack of "I'm waiting for my man" from the album The Velvet Underground and Nico.  Nico, in turn, featured in Warhol's 1967 Exploding Plastic Inevitable.  Wild times.

Leigh Turner


For photo slideshow see:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/47991577@N03/sets/72157627506181527/show/

 



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