Dara Birnbaum

I grew up on Warhol and Pop art in general. That’s why I titled my first book Popular Image Video and why I named my first video series, in 1980, Pop-Pop Video. It was actually my Dad who suggested the second “Pop.” One of the first shows I remember being allowed to see in Manhattan—we lived in Queens and had to ask our mother's permission to go—included everything from Olitski to Lichtenstein to Warhol to Rauschenberg. They were showing Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup cans and Brillo boxes, and seeing these images of the very thing I ate at home or what my mother used in our kitchen—because I grew up in the ’50s—completely floored me.

Warhol created imagery that related directly to the media. He gleaned aspects of advertising, and he knew how to stylize an image and how to deal with fashion. He was aware that all these images were quickly becoming mass-produced and spit out—and it could be a can

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