Art | March 8, 2020 2:43 pm

Exploring Andy Warhol’s Pop Cultural Legacy

From celebrity inspirations to wrestling fandom

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol's artistic legacy is far broader than you might think.
Lasse Olsson / Pressens bild

We live in a point in time where celebrity obsessions are paramount, people can become famous for just about anything and awareness of brands and branding abounds in everyday life. In other words, we live in a society that seems to have sprung directly from the aesthetic of Andy Warhol.

A major new retrospective of Warhol’s art is set to open at London’s Tate Modern on March 12, and new facets of Warhol’s work are still coming to light. It’s prompted Justin Quirk at The Guardian to chart out just how vast Warhol’s impact on pop culture was and is.

Some of the names and personalities highlighted by Quirk are ones you might expect to see in a survey of Warhol’s life. There was the 1964 meeting between Salvador Dalí and Warhol, which involved very loud opera, while “Warhol put on an Inca headdress and nervously guzzled wine.” And there’s the fact that Warhol was inspired to create art after seeing Prince play in New York in 1980.

A few of the names and faces in here are ones you might not expect to see come up in a look back at Warhol’s life. Quirk notes that, in 1981, Donald Trump approached Warhol about creating art for Trump Tower. According to Quirk, it didn’t end well: “The deal turned sour when Trump declined to buy the diamond-dust covered paintings, irked that they weren’t colour-coordinated.”

Other things that can be gleaned from the article? Warhol was a huge fan of wrestling. After watching Hulk Hogan wrestle “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, he commented, “It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life. The most exciting thing!” Has the wrestling world yet seen a Warhol-themed wrestler enter the ring? That concept might just be having its moment.

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