Saturday, 16 March 2013

Are You Sitting Comfortably?...

For once I am going to start a post with a bit of a story. Believe me, you'll like this one. A long time, let's start that one again. When I was at art college some years ago, my class and I went to see an extensive and important exhibition of Pop Art. All the usual, 'guys in the band' were on offer there, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, David Hockney, Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, et al. Quite a gathering as you might expect, and we were damn lucky to be there. We had a great time and the pieces were as to be expected, in your face and extraordinary. As a bunch of London art students we felt quite at the cutting edge of the art scene and tried to appear educated on the genre.
However, (and here it comes) all of this cultural experience collapsed into hysterics and mayhem when we attempted to leave. One of my friends at the time, (who, to save his blushes, will remain nameless) decided to buy some postcards and went to get his wallet out of his bag. This being a rather heavy rucksack, he decided to put it down on a conveniently located 'box'.  As he approached the 'box', and before we could point out his error, a couple of security guards made an instant and urgent lunge for him. The rather too-low wire should have been the clue as, 'The Box' was indeed part of Andy Warhol's installation piece 'Brillo Boxes' (1964)! Luckily, my fear stricken chum didn't get the chance to put the bag down, our tutor had do do the best piece of diplomatic negotiation ever witnessed outside of the UN and we all got out safely but in fits of laughter. Perhaps they placed that wire a little higher. Happy days.   
Don't ask me why but ever since that day I have had a soft spot for the work of Roy Lichtenstein! Just now, the Tate Modern are holding a retrospective exhibition of his work until the 27th May. When I visit London, I am going to make sure I go to see it along with all the other visits I am hoping to squeeze in. Hopefully there will be no 'boxes' involved.
Brillo Box
A happy reminder?
Andy Warhol
Brillo Soap Pads Box (1964)
Image from, 'the Warhol'

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