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Andy Warhol Flowers Prints

When exploring Andy Warhol’s work, the motif of flowers would seem too cliché and common to tickle his fancy; however, this is the successful artist who drew inspiration from a can of soup, so his choices should not be questioned. Flowers are actually a recurring theme in Warhol’s work. His flower motifs from the 1950’s appeared very much like traditional still life pieces, but in the 1960’s, they underwent an enormous transformation, becoming more technicolor and abstract. Some say his flower pieces of the early 1960’s predicted the flower power movement in the years to come.

The Power of Flowers

Andy Warhol Posters - Marilyn Monroe 1964
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The Andy Warhol Flowers series was created in 1964 in vast numbers and were displayed at New York’s Leo Castelli Gallery. They possessed no proper top or bottom and were hung randomly in large groups. Perhaps because the colors are vibrant, the pieces seem juvenile and take on a grotesque, bizarre appearance. The gnarled undergrowth in the background is abstract and exaggerated, and the flowers appear flattened and slightly distorted. Nothing in the portrait looks remotely natural, which seems to be the typical Warhol style. Andy Warhol Flowers have a recurring theme, but differ in cropping, color, and arrangement. This particular flower series was done in silkscreen on canvas, a process that Warhol loved for its speed and efficiency.

  • Warhol seemed to prefer that his art pieces be seen as industrial objects and not true artwork. He excelled in organizing and manipulating his subjects, giving them a unique meaning and purpose.
  • Celebrity icons were employed to illustrate tragedy and the fragility of life, while banal commercial products were used to create a feeling of unity and simplicity.
  • Warhol’s character is an intriguing paradox; he was and still is known as a unique individual, yet he strove to eliminate individuality from his work.

The Flower as a Symbol
The flower in art has come to symbolize many things over time, such as beauty, fragility, life, and death. Flowers are ever-present at funerals, and are also widely used to commemorate a person or an event. The flowers depicted in this particular Warhol series resemble poppies, which are, in fact, symbols of death. This lends a pervasive dark and melancholic undertone to the Andy Warhol Flowers series. Notably, these pieces were produced around the same time as his infamous Jackies, and some speculate that they were a commemoration to the late John F. Kennedy.

 

 

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