Astghik Poghosyan | September 2016
Warhol is credited for coming up with the expression ‘15 minutes of fame’- in which an artist can become as illustrious as his work. This comes full circle with an up and coming graphic novel that illustrates his life, set to release on October 4th, 2016. Written by Nick Bertozzi and illustrated by Pierce Hargan, this biographical story follows Warhol and his scandalous infamy regarding the 1964 New York’s World Trader mural.
During the 1960’s Warhol, along with nine other artists, was commissioned to come up with a piece for the World Trade Center, incidentally making it his first public work ever created with the intention of display.
Officials were shocked when Warhol’s contribution to the fair ended up as a collage screenprint of thirteen of the most wanted criminals during 1962. It displayed a 20 by 20 mural of enlarged news mugshots. Ironically, Warhol’s portrayal of infamous men garnered him his own infamy. Even though his mural was Philip Johnson’s (architect of the building) favorite out of the ten pieces, the fair officials took down ‘Thirteen Most Wanted Men’ only three days after it was displayed. When the fair was open to the public, the only thing visible on the mural was a twenty by twenty coat of silver paint. However, Warhol understood the socio-economic drive of fame and recreated the piece on canvases, later selling them for a high price.
Bertozzi has been known for his illustrative work for comics; which have been published in: The New York Times, New York Press, Gourmet and Nickelodeon. He is also a teacher at the School of Visual Arts.
It’s going to be a peculiar experience witnessing how he delves into Warhol’s mind and shows us the turning point of a pop revolutionary’s inner world.