PRINT October 2004

What’s Not to Like?: Mike Kelley

Andy Warhol: “I think everybody should like everybody.”

Gene Swenson: “Is that what Pop Art is all about?”

Andy Warhol: “Yes, it's liking things.”

—“What Is Pop Art?” Art News, November 1963

Go to the source. As far as Pop is concerned, that would be Warhol. Not because he was the first of his kind—Roy Lichtenstein edged him to cartoons and Claes Oldenburg to the dark side of the ’60s—but because his detachment set the rhetorical tone for the movement that imploded high culture and inverted mass culture with the same wicked equanimity. Liking things omnivorously and with a seemingly indiscriminate enthusiasm is the natural tendency of modern window-shopping prosperity. It is democratic: Anybody can like things; it takes no special talent or education. It is sociable: You can always talk to people about what you like and what they like without getting into fights over it. And it is leveling

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