By David Stillman Meyer | June 24, 2019 | Culture
This summer The Baldwin Gallery hangs a reimagination of Warhol's 55-year-old flower series by artist Ryan McGinness.
While Warhol's influence can be seen in countless works of contemporary art, with celebrated New York artist Ryan McGinness, the connection is a degree or two stronger. Warhol and McGinness both use silkscreen printing. They both went to Carnegie Mellon. They both use pop culture references. Warhol plucking directly while McGinness creates his own lexicon of signs and symbols. (Think "Caution, Wet Floor" pictograms, but through a bizarro, cheeky lens.)
For McGinness' most recent series, Warhol Flower Icon, which travels to Aspen by way of Hong Kong and Bangkok, he steps directly inside the Warhol funhouse, painting the icon of the icon's icon.
Warhol made his flowers in 1964. The subject matter was considered a rather jarring departure at the time. Until then, it had been Campbell's soup cans (everyday famous), Marilyn Monroe (celebrity famous) and mug shots of criminals (notoriously famous). Now, his subject was not famous at all, but rather the definition of generic, although politically charged "flower power" and all.
Warhol didn't paint his flowers from real life, but rather from a photograph of hibiscus blossoms he found in a 1964 issue of Modern Photography. Fifty five years later and twice removed, here we have that same flower, published again in a magazine. The circle never ends.
Photography courtesy Ryan McGinness