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Oct. 4th, 2005



I went to the Museum of Modern Art last Thursday, and, as well as getting to see some Jackson Pollocks up close for the first time (make my entendre a double, etc), I was forced into the realisation that Andy Warhol was probably a genius after all. I always thought that as far as the theory went, yes, he was on the money, and that yes, art and commerce, fifteen minutes, all that, he'd pretty much called reality's bluff; however, I was never moved by the end product. Soulless and unexciting, I thought (and still do where those awful films are concerned, no matter how much of a practical joke they were meant to be). MOMA has the soup cans on display, and you could rave to me for four hours about their wider meaning as I sank into a Martini-induced stupor, but you'd still fail to convince me that they're at all interesting. They really are, as the uninitiated remarked in bewilderment when the paintings were first unveiled, just a bunch of soup cans.

However, on two separate occasions (since MOMA has followed Tate Modern's lead and ordered things by theme and choronology, as opposed to necessarily by artist) I walked into a room and was utterly sucker-punched by a vast Warhol screenprint I'd never seen before. If you don't know them, tiny reproductions on your screen of Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times and Hammer and Sickle won't be enough to convey their visceral impact, but they persuaded me, against my will, that the old bugger might have been on to something after all.

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