An Andy Warhol Angel
“Andy was a Catholic, the ethic ran through his bones/
He lived alone with his mother, collecting gossip and toys/
Every Sunday when he went to church/
He’d kneel in his pew and he’d say/
“It’s just work, all that matters is work.”
-Lou Reed, from Songs for Drella
It’s true. Pop artist Andy Warhol, the legendary, ironically blank scenester, was also a devoutly religious man. He attended church faithfully, volunteered in soup kitchens, and made a late body of Christian themed works that have been largely overlooked by the hostilely secular art world.
Warhol Meets Pope John Paul II, 1980
As a person of faith, Warhol used his artistic skills to celebrate Christmas. Before Andy found fame in the gallery scene, he was a successful commercial artist. From 1956-1962 he produced box sets of Christmas cards sold by Tiffany’s. He rendered these as quirky doodles, far removed from the slick screen prints he’s known for.
Here are just a few examples of Warhol’s holiday spirit.
As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization, Warhol left a mixed legacy:
“As the prophet of the Postmodern, Warhol was another harbinger of the mess of a culture we are currently slogging through. It’s not his fault. Do you blame a reporter for the news he covers? The cultural traits Warhol portrayed didn’t start with him. He fulfilled the role of the artist giving us foresight into the culture’s momentum.”
1978: Truman Capote and Andy Warhol Celebrate the Season
Maybe a Little Too High Spirited
But I like to think behind the facade of celebrity and detachment, there was the real human Andy, who celebrated Christ’s birth with sincere joy.
An Andy Warhol Nativity
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