Andy Warhol’s religious art
Updated: Aug 15, 2019
March 7, 2019
We met the other night at a friend’s house to watch a video of a talk given in New York a week or so ago, about Andy Warhol (not my favorite artist by a long shot). For the first half of the talk I was wondering why in the world we were watching it and thinking “I don’t fit into this group after all.”
The second half of the talk and this image changed my mind. I still don’t like Andy Warhol’s work much more than I did at the beginning of the talk, and I’m not sure many people will get beyond the apparent glibness of the image to the underlying possibilities, but I am now willing to try. I did find the evening very meaningful after all and enjoyed a great discussion with the group when the video was over. One person in particular made a point of stressing the importance of the modern images superimposed on the image of the last supper.
I think, when addressing Warhol, it is important to keep in mind that he was first a commercial artist. This fact made a difference back then. I'm not sure it does now.
The three modern (for then), images superimposed on top of the cartoon of the last supper have meaning relating to the Davinci painting. The dove is fairly obvious – a reference to the Holy Spirit and the GE with three swirls, was logically explained as a reference to the Trinity and “bringing good things to life”. But the speaker didn’t adequately explain the 59 cents in the upper left.
I’d known for years that Warhol was a practicing Catholic; the fact that I kept thinking about it the next day indicates that his art has something to teach me.
To keep this brief, I believe the 59 cents refers to Judas’ great deal.