Saturday Disasters: Trace and Reference in Early Warhol is the article by Thomas Crow about the early works of Andy Warhol and Warhol’s three personalities with their own interests and principles. From the very beginning, Crow underlines that Warhol was “not one but, at minimum, three persons” (Crow, 49).
This very fact cannot but attract the reader’s attention and inform that this personality was not that simple, this is why it will be rather captivating to investigate the life and the works of this person. It is necessary to admit that the thesis of the article under consideration is presented rather clearly.
It is all about Warhol and his passion to art: “Warhol, though he grounded his art in the ubiquity of the packaged commodity, produced his most powerful work by dramatizing the breakdown of commodity exchange” (Crow, 51). However, for a sophisticated author, it is not enough to present a clear thesis and win the reader. This is why it is necessary to think about the possible ways to prove this thesis and persuade the reader that this thesis is supported with enough arguments and cannot be disproved.
In order to prove that the thesis has enough power and sense, Thomas Crow chooses the most frequent way – to use the real life examples, evidences from the life of Andy Warhol, and his works. So, the possible way to demonstrate the reader that Warhol preferred to dramatize the collapse of commodity exchange is to pick out several his works and analyze them.
One of his famous works were the portrait series devoted to Marilyn Monroe. He started creating her portraits after her suicide. His works were a bit different in comparison to those, which had already been created: “sometimes vividly present, sometimes elusive, always open to embellishment as well as loss” (Crow, 53).
Of course, Marilyn’s photos are not the only pictures, which made Warhol popular. When he comprehended that the photos of celebrities made sense, he decided to create more series in order to represent his own vision of their lives. And, it was not surprisingly that he chose Elizabeth Taylor as his another image to develop.
These two divas of Hollywood attract attention of plenty of people; their full-face portraits cause numerous debates and much admiration at the same period of time. These very facts help to prove that the thesis, chosen by Thomas Crow, really make sense and may be baled up any time.
I cannot but mention the pictures of the electric chair. Crow admits that the series of these very pictures represent fullness and void simultaneously. Those dramatic thoughts, which are connected to this chair, demonstrate a kind of manifestation, liberty, and dependence. Warhol was ready to say something against the death penalty, and his words were in the form of pictures. Just look at those terrible circumstances under which any death penalty happens – something inside disturbs the soul.
To my mind, the article of Thomas Crow about the style of work of a genius person, Andy Warhol, is interesting and strong indeed. It does not impose certain thoughts, but, vice versa, allow the reader to concentrate on the details, which may be hidden at first.
Lots of people do not want to or just cannot notice some trifles, which can make this world better, and Thomas Crow makes a wonderful attempt to gather several details as for the work of Warhol and present them to the reader. He creates a strong thesis and uses enough evidences to prove his choice and his correctness.
Crow, Thomas. “Saturday Disasters: Trace and Reference in Early Warhol.” Modern Art in the Common Culture, New Haven, 1996: 49-56.