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Yesterday, after moving all of those archive boxes and stacking them up in a wall against the back of my cubicle, I noticed that the visual rhythm of the nearly uniform boxes had a rather Warholian aesthetic, so I decided I'd bring my camera in to work today and record the image for posterity. While I was darting around snapping photos, one of my co-workers wanted to know what I was up to, so I explained to her that the wall of boxes inspired me, and that it looked like an image straight out of Warhol's work, but she didn't know who Andy Warhol was, so I did a quick little Google search and found some images to show her. While I was at it, I found this which is almost exactly what I envisioned and subsequently recorded in my own office. So not only is the scene outside my cubicle reminiscent of Warhol, it could be considered imitative or duplicated.

My boss, who has a BA in Art, volunteered that he hadn't much of an appreciation for Warhol, stating a preference for the art of the Renaissance period, but I hold a fascination for Warhol. I recognize the overwhelming nature of industrial comsumerist society, and get a sense of that feeling of deluge with many of his paintings and exhibitions. I had a Warhol experience when we went shopping for a refrigerator after we had bought our house. We went out to the Sears outlet on Front Street, on a specific mission to purchase the smallest, cheapest household fridge available. We got the ONLY fridge on site which was a reasonable small size, with a freezer on top. Surrounded in a forest of gigantic 6' tall fridges with double-doors and ice dispensers was the one, lowly, humble fridge. The surreality of this forest of behemoth, expensive fridges surrounding the sole small fridge made my head feel a little floaty, and has since stuck in my memory as an indelible, peculiar image. If I'd had a digital camera back then, I'd have taken a picture of the rows upon rows of enormous fridges. It was that kind of scene.

Even Warhol's celebrity portraits foster a feeling of inundation; today's media has taken what had been possibly a parody of the media of yesteryear's fascination with celebrities and redoubled its efforts to cover the slightest actions of various personalities.

Part of the fascination, for me, of Andy Warhol's work is the visual demonstration of a symbol losing referential value or undergoing a transformation of meaning. For example, try saying the word “gourd” or “weasel” twenty times in a row. Pretty soon, it stops being a word with significance, and becomes a chant of sounds. Similarly, a stack of identical soup cans soon loses relevance as a display of consumer products and becomes a pattern, like printed wallpaper—simply a collection of colors and shapes. For another example, consider a stop sign. If you encountered a stop sign in an ordinary context, it would signify to you that this was a traffic intersection where all incoming cars were required to come to a halt. On the other hand, if you have 40 stop signs, nailed up in a gridwork on a wall, they lose meaning as a traffic-directing measure, but take on a visual rhythm of something more like a Spanish tiled floor. Warhol's most significant iconographic works are like a visual introduction to recontextualization. Many meanings can be taken from them, from a simple aesthetic pleasure in symmetry, color, and pattern, to a commentary on the inexorable force of modern marketing and cultural saturation.

Also, feel free to check out my temporary gallery of things I see everyday at work.” The stairwell and window photos are from my daily climb up to the 29th floor. I do at least one lap of the complete flight of stairs every day on my lunch break, and two if I am feeling particularly antsy-pantsy on a given day.

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