“I always think about what it means to wear eyeglasses. When you get used to glasses you don’t know how far you could really see. I think about all the people before eyeglasses were invented. It must have been weird because everyone was seeing in different ways according to how bad their eyes were. Now, eyeglasses standardize everyone’s vision to 20-20. That’s an example of everyone becoming more alike. Everyone could be seeing at different levels if it weren’t for glasses.” (Andy Warhol, 1970’s)
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was a leading figure in the arts, specifically pioneering aspects of the celebrated pop art movement. His massive body of work explores the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished during his lifetime (and is especially relevant today!). After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned, if not a bit controversial, and highly respected artist. Virtually no major gallery in the world with a modern art collection is complete without representation of Warhol – his iconic Campbell Soup images, psychadelic interpretations of Elvis or Marilyn, or even his 1970’s portrayal of Chinese communist leader, Mao Tse Tung, so controversial that today it is still banned in China, all feature prominently in museums like the Pompidou Centre (Paris) or the Museum of Modern Art (New York).
Besides Warhol’s long white hair (now known to be one of his many, many wigs as he was completely bald from a very young age), what other accessory is more synonymous with Warhol then his unique selection of eyeglasses and sunglasses?