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PARKER: Another Warhol on the wall

Image Credit: Compilation/Jennifer Stahn
March 23, 2015 - 7:53 AM

I was first introduced to Andy Warhol by a high school teacher who told us to bring in our replicated versions of the Campbell’s soup can print. I, being the talented visual artist I am, brought in a literal Campbell’s soup can. For laziness purposes I even left some of the beef broth in the can.

I obviously failed.

This project is about as far as my relationship with Warhol goes. The notion of his work — of pop culture as an art — has influenced the color of the glasses I see the world through, but has done nothing to fuel my own inspiration.

I had a brief imaginary fling with his muse, Edie Sedgwick in the early 2000s. I obsessed over his pet project, The Velvet Underground when I was introduced to Lou Reed and Patti Smith and I later re-visited him as I went through a Marilyn or Jackie? phase and found the iconic print of the bombshell’s vibrant portrait — but none of these trips down the Warhol rabbit hole inspired me to love his art like they did to just love him.

I’m not really an art person.

Anyway, when 80 Warhol originals set up shop in downtown Vancouver in early March, a girlfriend of mine proposed it as an afternoon activity. Why wouldn’t I want to see some of these iconic images in person? Maybe some of that inspiring pop art energy would finally rub off on me in a way I could utilize.

When we arrived to the gallery — accidentally an hour early — a small crowd had already started to accumulate. A crowd that — excuse my judgment — looked like they would be happy to wait an hour to view Andy Warhol originals.

Naturally, realizing there were sixty minutes before the doors opened, we left and went to Sephora. Slowing down isn’t really my forte — even the line at Sephora was too long.

There’s no denying that slowing down is what this world needs more of these days though — we can reach everything so quickly that we get impatient within mere seconds.

Recently — for the sake of my aging blood pressure — I’ve been practicing slowing down. I try to stop and enjoy the sunset instead of running home even faster because I’m tired, I try to do that ridiculous mindful eating thing (she says as she shovels the seventh handful of mini eggs into her mouth). I literally stop and smell the non-proverbial roses.

I was cycling through the forest the other day with my father  — going about 20kph — when a man on a similar road bike burned past us, not even acknowledging our presence. My dad — old school and blunt as ever — said “Geez — doesn’t he know life is too short to go that fast?!”
So, when my friend and I arrived back at the Warhol exhibit just in time for the doors to open and discovered we were to be let in with the first group, we prepared ourselves to fake our way through an art show. To take our time, if you will.

“That’s nice!” I said to her.

“This one’s neat!” she said to me.

Not ten minutes had passed before we exited the gallery — the first to leave out of the 60 other people let in with us.

“Maybe we’re just not art people?” she said to me.

True, we are not art people in the slightest, but I had finally received something unique from Warhol. Sometimes life calls us to slow down, to pick the dandelions and to slurp the spaghetti noodle. But maybe — maybe sometimes life just wants a little cat call. A nod to beauty, if you will, before getting on with itself.

For some of us, life is too short to cycle quickly through a demonstration forest. For others, life is too short to power walk through an Andy Warhol exhibit.

But for some of us, 30kph is an average, and for others, art isn’t about what it looks like, it’s about how it makes you feel.

And — apparently — I finally felt inspired.

— Andria is a 20-something blogger from Kamloops

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