Andy Warhol's circa 1967 Marilyn Monroe
When JFK was in the White House and New York was the capital of the world, a little-known artist named Andy Warhol had his first solo exhibition in Manhattan. The year was 1962 and the show included his iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s Soup cans and Coke bottles. The Peter Pan of pop art had crafted an aesthetically provocative vision of all that was crass and ironic in American culture and somehow made it fun. The world would never be the same, and although pop’s glory days are long gone, it remains a symbol of a stylishly naive and uniquely American extravagance, perhaps because we remain a preternaturally adolescent nation forever fixated on a neon vision of fulfillment. Whatever the reason, these pop pieces by Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Tom Wesselmann and others at the Octavia Gallery look almost as fresh now as they did then.
Smoker by Tom Wesselmann
Living With Pop: Works by Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring & Others, Through Sept. 29, Octavia Art Gallery, 4532 Magazine St., 309-4249