I spent a better part of Saturday afternoon wandering around Andy Warhol: The Last Decade at the Brooklyn Museum. I’ve long felt ambivalent about Warhol as an artist. I love the ways in which he innovated the use of commercial imagery, but get worn out by the relentless rich-people portraits cranked out factory-style. I like the way he could play the media, but the hijinks can grow tiresome. Some pieces are clever, others too self-aware. But the gathering of silkscreens and paintings at the Brooklyn Museum, all produced during the last ten years of the artist’s life, contained a number of works that genuinely moved me — from the whoa-nelly-this-shit-is massive Last Supper (the middle shot above) to the maligned collaborations with Jean-Michel Basquiat (there’s a hopefulness and a darkness to Sin More that I find really compelling). I was totally absorbed — primarily by the works on the fifth floor portion of the exhibit.
But above all, I learned one important lesson: It might occasionally behoove me to clean the lens on my camera.
Andy Warhol, The Last Decade, is up at the Brooklyn Museum through Sept. 12. Plus, an interesting fact: Warhol used to like to celebrate his birthday at Serendipity.