The Crassness of Warhol….world famous for 15 Minutes? Another cuckoo.

When I saw the subject for this week’s LBC post my heart sank. I could not think of any aspect of this idea that touched a chord with me. I understand that I will never have Fifteen Minutes of Fame, and wouldn’t want it. I understand that it has come to represent mush in our present (supposed) Celebrity Culture. By the way, as an aside ; How can they be celebrities if they truly have nothing worthy of celebration?( Did you notice the Freudian slip? Genuine, and so appropriate that I decided to leave it as it is.)

Well, as I was saying, I could not “connect” with the subject. If fame were to come to me it should last more than a mere Fifteen Minutes. And fame for what?

A question: How many of you knew  of Al-Jaziri,  Abbas Ibn Firnas or Fatima al-Fihri ? These are people who deserve fame and yet have really not achieved it in due portion. I only learned about them yesterday when I visited an exhibition at The Science Museum in London.

This was what convinced me to try to write on this subject.

I am not a “child of the 60s”. Rather, I was a youth and young man of the 60s. My childhood was during the 50’s a period of austerity and relative poverty.

It was during the 1960s that I first became aware of what we now call Celebrity. I knew, vaguely,  about film stars as a child but I was also aware of political injustice and other issues. And , as achild, I preferred Skiffle to Rock and Roll . It was only many years later that I understood their shared roots. I digress. Nothing new in that.

We had The Beatles of course.  Celebrity writ large but I still wonder if it is really deserved any more than Mozart and Liszt deserved theirs. Apparently women went as gaga for Liszt as they did later for The Beatles. The latter are a constant puzzle to me. There were other celebrities, Mary Quant, Manson, the Kennedy brothers, David Bailey, Cassius Clay, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Green Shield Stamps …the list goes on.

The celebrity who concerns us here is Andy Warhol. A major mover in the Pop Art movement of the 60’s it appears to me that Warhol was, rather like Dali, a great self publicist. Perhaps his greatest work of art was his own celebrity. About ten years ago I was told by a nineteen year old that i should listen to The velvet Underground. I didn’t ‘get’ them the first time around and certanly wouldn’t this time. I was right.

And now Warhol comes back to haunt me with his rather crass statement that, “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.”

In 1979 he said:

It’s the place where my prediction from the sixties finally came true: “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” I’m bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is, “In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous.”

Andy Warhol’s Exposures (1979) “Studio 54”


10 Responses to “The Crassness of Warhol….world famous for 15 Minutes? Another cuckoo.”

  1. Rummuser Says:

    In fifteen minutes, Andy Worhol will put anyone to sleep. I too belong to the same generation as you Magpie and my post reflects more or less the same thought that you convey here. A lot of water has flown down our rivers and the world as we knew is neither thought of or much appreciated now.

  2. magpie11 Says:

    I don’t know about you, but I find all the guff about “The Sixties” applies only to those who could afford it all and , to a lesser extent , to those who lived in Metropolitan areas, like London. The rest of us were either earning a living or learning to earn a living and in the Vacations earning a living.

  3. Judy Harper Says:

    I’m still trying to understand him claiming a picture of a Campbell’s soup can was art! I like your phrase “a great self publicist”, because that is so true. I never understood the Beatles either, I liked the Big Bands and the 50’s. Very good post!

  4. Grannymar Says:

    I sometimes wonder where I was during the 60s, they seem to have passed me by. They were half over before we had TV and for several years we had only one Station – RTE.

  5. Ursula Says:

    @Judy Harper, that Heinz soup was delicious in comparison to what prices are now paid for pickled cows and sharks (reference Damien Hirst).

    My dear Magpie, if someone had served me up today’s theme my heart too would have sunk (in fact, it did – mid afternoon). No criticism of the person who suggested it (according to Ramana’s intro your own good self): Yet, the subject so empty; little to get one’s teeth into.

    Whether oneself being famous or rubbing shoulders with those who are:
    All of you, please do remember that, just like the Queen (and she’d agree), we all need to go to the loo (or should that be ‘toilet’). Actually, slightly veering off here: Where I come from a toddler’s potty is referred to as “Do you need to go to the throne.” Sorry, Magpie, for that diversion. Still, certain things need to said and see the light of day like a pearl waiting to be discovered in its oyster.

    Let’s hope next week’s subject will have a little more meat on it. Otherwise I will have to cancel my subscription to the LBC’s Friday convention.


  6. gaelikaa Says:

    We can self-publish at the push of a button now for all the world to see. But will all the world come to see what we’ve published? It’s all debatable. But we have access to media we couldn’t have dreamed of in an earlier age….

  7. Maria Says:

    So it was my subject and I was feeling pretty good as I made my way reading the posts of other LBC writers or at least until now.

    Like it or not, doesn’t make a difference with me, but I do appreciate that everyone wrote and I certainly found the approaches interesting.

  8. Ursula Says:

    gaelikaa, “we have access to media we couldn’t have dreamed of in an earlier age””. You are right but in many ways it is a mixed blessing. I am trying to psyche myself up to write on the subject on you-know-where, some time soon.

    Maria, I am sorry if I put a dampener on your “feeling pretty good”. It wasn’t my intention.

    Gratifyingly, to me, Magpie went right back to the root of the 15 minutes saying. Warhol’s observation, often misunderstood, was as scathing as it was prophetic: “Fame” has become inflationary, making it a meaningless currency.

    We now even have that sub category of being “famous for being famous”. Do you know the story of “The Emperor without Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen? If ever there was a tale for our times.


  9. Ginger Says:

    I like Andy Warhol because I think his art was ironic – art for art’s sake. That included his statement, even if arrogant in delivery.

    I agree with him, especially in the states. Paris Hilton. Perez Hilton. Pants on the Ground. Milli Vanilli. Bloggers. Facebook..

  10. Magpie11 Says:

    Oops! I didn’t know that Warhol was so controversial…;-)

    Ginger…. which definition?

    a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
    b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
    c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.
    a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: “Hyde noted the irony of Ireland’s copying the nation she most hated” (Richard Kain).
    b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity

    Certainly much of his art would appear to be incongruous.

    Perhaps I suffer from a touch of some thing like autism when it comes to such “art”?
    I admit that when it came to Dali I could appreciate the execution of his paintings but never felt anything when I viewed them same with the Mona Lisa… noting at all. Early Picasso I do appreciate… do you think that later he might just have been having the Art World on a bit? A few weeks ago we had a chance to buy a piece of his Ceramic work… there was one that I absolutely loved. One of this series:

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