Andy Warhol was onto something. Prescient to the weight that celebrity, fame and commerce would hold in popular culture, Warhol is today regarded as one of the most influential artists of the last century. Not only is he the poster-child of the popular American Dream, he designed and produced the actual posters that would, in time, play a part in reshaping what “the Dream” looked like. It’s no wonder that, in a collaborative traveling exhibition titled Letters to Andy Warhol, The Andy Warhol Museum has teamed up with Cadillac—the all-American brand of social mobility. Showcasing the artist’s intimate connection with both art and the artifact, this multimedia show celebrates his legacy and cultural impact.
(A letter to Warhol from Yves Saint Laurent)
Letters to Andy Warhol revolves around five letters written to or received from Yves Saint Lauren, Mick Jagger, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the New York State Department of Public Works, and a mutual friend of his and Truman Capote. But curiosity to dive deeper and reveal more than the words on a page sparked many tangential works—works of art in their own right—that are also featured in this exhibit. For one, a short film about ambition and determination called “Screen Stories” with Sienna Miller, David LaChapelle and Francesco Clemente, was inspired by Warhol’s letters to Capote. Then there’s Jagger’s letter to Warhol, which prompted Sean Lennon to write a song about said rock-star asking said art-star to design the cover for his band’s 1969 seminal album, “Sticky Fingers.”
The famed MoMA letter rejecting Warhol’s “Shoe” artwork as a donation to the museum is perhaps the most emblematic of an era on the precipice of change. This correspondence was interpreted by shoe guru Brian Atwood and writer J.J. Martin as a children’s book—a redemption story called “Bobby’s Sparkling Heels”—championing creativity above and beyond perceived barriers to entry.
(Brian Atwood's Bobby's Brillant Heels)
Alongside the letters and mixed media works, this exhibition features five Warhol pieces that focus on Cadillac as the subject. “Andy Warhol painted a portrait of American life. The Warhol’s partnership with Cadillac, an iconic American brand that appears in Warhol’s work, feels completely right to us," says Patrick Moore, The Warhol's interim director. “We’re excited to be part of an exhibition that examines the continuing influence of Warhol on contemporary culture through the lens of some of today’s most influential tastemakers.”
From commissions for Harper’s Bazaar and graphite drawings, to silkscreen prints and gelatin photographs, Cadillac was a reoccurring theme in Warhol’s portfolio between the 1950s and 1986. According to Melody Lee, director of Brand Marketing for Cadillac, “Letters to Andy Warhol celebrates Warhol’s unique individualism, and Cadillac as a cultural inspiration for his important work."
The exhibit is free and open to the public from February 3 to 12, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday to Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays at Miami Design District’s Palm Court Event Space at 140 NE 39th Street, 3rd floor. The Letters to Andy Warhol exhibition made its debut at Cadillac House in New York in Fall 2016, before traveling to West Hollywood for display at 101/EXHBIT. Miami is the last U.S. stop before the show embarks on a global tour through early 2018.
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