PRINT October 2004


Jack Bankowsky

Pop art is a nasty bit of work. It toadies to the powers that be and plays to the peanut gallery; broadcasts our dirty secrets but never lets us in on its own. Pop art is pushy, unapologetic, expedient—and amnesiac. It glories in the way things are and doesn’t worry much about the way they should be. But Pop knows how to turn on the charm. It’s brash, it’s quick, it’s fun to hang with. You can count on Pop to keep things light, but it’s better when it shows its depths.

“The depths of Pop” may seem an oxymoron, but the paradox is fully embodied in the art of the movement’s chief protagonist. As Kara Walker writes in these pages, “There are a lot of angles and surfaces, but when it comes to Warhol, depth is a much harder read.” Andy is deep not just because he figured out how to deliver up the surfaces, but because he jammed a wrench (a few of them) in the assembly line of Pop-perfect product

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