FRIDAY ART CAT
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Did you know that Andy Warhol was a huge cat lover?
Best known of course for his Pop art, Warhol and his mother Julia Warhola both loved cats and had several of their own, all named Sam except for one called Hester.
Before Warhol became famous, he worked as a commercial illustrator and published a privately printed, 190 edition, book of cat drawings: ’25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy’.
The “name” in the title instead of “named” was because of his mother who did the hand calligraphy of the title. Warhol liked mistakes, so kept it!
This book is rare, but still available – Abebooks.co.uk have one for £110.
I was always fascinated by the colours Warhol used. The Fauvists (eg Matisse) used non-representational colour and representational form to convey different sensations. However, unlike the Fauve colours, Warhol’s Pop Art colours do not depict the artist’s inner sensation of the world. They refer to the popular culture, which also inspired Warhol to experiment with the technique of silkscreen printing, a popular technique used for mass production.
He developed different colour schemes for his artwork. For example: a monochromatic colour scheme, meaning having tints and shades of just one colour; a complementary colour scheme, in which the colours used are opposite on the colour wheel; or an analogous colour scheme, wherein the colour scheme uses 3 to 5 colours adjacent to each other on the colour wheel.
In doing so, Warhol moved away from the elitist avant-garde tradition. Initially, many spectators received this new marriage between art and commodity culture with little enthusiasm. Because of Warhol’s ability to take risks and experiment with context and colour, he remains a hugely influential artist long after his death.
Inspired by Warhol:
I found it quite difficult to create a cat in a similar way, as it is so unlike how I normally make work. But here’s a cat in my favourite colour Tiffany blue, called Sam. (Incidentally, Warhol produced Christmas cards for the Tiffany store.)
‘The Cat – 3500 years of the Cat in Art’ by Caroline Bugler
I am an artist who makes work of animals and people.
Three cats live with me – Maine coon Orlando, Bengal Pandora and black moggy Rio.