Blogs Imitating Art…Or Art Imitating Blogs

MARCH 1, 2007

“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”

Andy Warhol, one of the original American Pop Artists, 1928-1987

Andy Warhol, born Andy Warhola in 1928, was a famously controversial artist who made his name in the Pop Art Movement during the 1960s. Some of his most famous art pieces portrayed Marilyn Monroe, Campbell Soup cans, and bottles of Coca-Cola, all well known ‘pop’ items of the culture at the time: his paintings showed the nature of mass production at its most productive. For instance, his paintings of soup cans and soda bottles featured the same mundane objects, repeated over and over, on the canvas. There was no variety; no hidden message to be found behind the bottles or cans; it was just exactly what it looked like; soup cans and bottles, all exactly the same. He even took it the next level, painting everything on silkscreens, which meant that his paintings, with the help of his assitants, could be mass produced themselves.

A lot of art critics had problems with his work, and didn’t consider it art. Despite this, he became a pop icon himself. He is credited with having coined the phrase “fifteen minutes of fame,” and by the end of his career he was hanging out with the likes of Mick Jagger and Bridgett Bardot at such New York hotspots like the notorius Studio 54.

Warhol was also, to put it lightly, a little on the strange side at times. At the age of 24 he dyed his hair white: the reasoning behind this was that people would first notice his white hair, and, assuming him to be older, would comment that he looked young upon seeing his face. Now, this makes sense and everything…but its also goddamned weird.

Honestly, I never used to be a fan of Warhol’s work; it just never captivated me. There has always been a question which people ask regarding his work: “Is it art imitating life, or life imitating art?” I never gave it much thought; I always thought it was a stupid question. To me, it was simply art imitating life, end of story. There was no reason to even think about it, let alone discuss it.

But then one day, I really did think about it. And it all made sense to me. Let’s take a look at the two different schools of thought:

If we assume that it is, in fact, art imitating life, then we can assume the following: The painter painted the picture in order to represent ordinary aspects of life, such as soup cans. Therefore, the painting is a work of art; the subject of the work of art is soup cans. Maybe its mundane art; but its art all the same, trying to imitate everyday life.

But now lets look at the other side of the coin: life imitating art. In this instance, we won’t call the work art; we’ll simply call it a work. The painter sat down and painted a work portraying soup cans. And in the process, gave the soup cans their one and only chance to show everybody that they are, indeed, art. The soup cans can’t do much: they’re soup cans, for goodness sake. They are not pretty to look at; there is nothing extrodinary about them; and we all see them, everyday, in the grocery store. But put them in an art exihibit, and suddenly, they have to try to be art. And they may or may not be. Taking this side of the argument, Warhol’s works aren’t necessarily artworks: they could be considered just drawings of soup cans. But its the fact that he is letting ordinary soup cans, who usually have to sit on super market shelves, strut their stuff in an art exihibit, that is important. In essence, he is testing the boundaries of the art world: are soup cans art, or are they simply soup cans?

I don’t know: you figure it out.

In the spirit of this discussion, I have decided to test the following theory: does a blog imitate art, or does art imitate a blog. I’m not just poking fun at myself: everyday that I log onto WordPress.com, I see about 700 different blogs. Are these blogs trying to show the blog readers that they are art?; or are blogs simply art, trying to find a new avenue to show itself on.

I don’t know; I’ll let you figure it out:

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG BLOG

Until Next Time,

Greg

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