Ultimate social influencer
We live in the era of the minor celebrity, the social media influencer and the TV reality star. And who do I blame? Andy Warhol that’s who. It was smarty-pants Warhol who originally gave us the idea that we could all be famous, with his quote: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” And looks like his future has arrived.
Icons live on
What an annoying all-round genius Warhol was. As well as practically inventing celebrity culture, his art still pervades many items of popular culture too, with his screenprints of Marilyn Monroe in particular, gracing mugs, T-shirts and bags everywhere you look. He led the pop art movement in the 1960s, in fact anything with the word ‘pop’ in it makes you think of Warhol, from his pop-art screenprints of Cambell’s soup tins to the line in the David Bowie pop song “Andy Warhol look a scream, hang him on my wall”.
Another of Warhol’s inventions was the idea of bringing together creatives of all sorts under one roof. The Factory was a gathering place for artists, intellectuals, drag queens, actors and singers. He even led the sexual revolution, being openly gay way before anyone else dared to.
Power of a brand
Warhol completely got the power of branding, and his words ring as true today as they did when he said them in the 1960s: “The richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drink Coca-Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca-Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca-Cola too.”
Just like Coca-Cola, Warhol is just as iconic as he ever was. I certainly hang his prints on my wall, and as Bowie continues in his song: “Andy Warhol, Silver Screen, can’t tell them apart at all.” Warhol teaches us all about the power of great imagery, and then the even greater power of repeating it again and again and again.