chapter  9
18 Pages

THE ANDY WARHOL OF PHILOSOPHY AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANDY WARHOL

ByAndy Warhol

Andy Warhol himself once explained, in words close to Wilde’s, “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface: of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.”1 This remark, whether taken as all too true or as coyly misleading, is itself generally judged in a superficial way. Wilde’s aphorism may help us remember that it is a mode of shallowness to be unable or unwilling to explore the structure and content of appearances. From this point of view, much of the consideration critics, art theorists, and philosophers have given Warhol’s work is superficial. Finding that work’s surfaces insufficient, such thinkers either condemn it as evidence of cultural decline or seek to give it significance by setting it within a framework of theory that possesses depths invisible in the work itself.