“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.” -Andy Warhol
Colchester’s art center, Firstsite, is now home to a grand collection of Andy Warhol paintings as part of their exhibition. This is the first of its kind for Firstsite as it exhibits its first world famous artist- the founder of Pop Art. The exhibition includes a range of paintings borrowed from other art galleries across the globe including Cow, Chairman Mao and Electric Chair as well as a range of artwork by those inspired by Warhol.
As soon as you walk up to Firstsite you can see clearly the exhibition being promoted across the building with an array of colour. Pop art faces stare down at you from the walls of the building which continues as you walk inside. This is only fitting for an artist with such world recognition- to have the faces of all kinds of people admiring his work.
The exhibition goes on with a wide array of Warhol’s work celebrating his 40 year career. There are pieces that glorify everyday items as well as celebrities collaborated with bold colours and patterns. There are also examples of his early work including unfinished sketches of Mick Jagger.
To fully mark the occasion, Firstsite have also decorated their walls with bold 60’s Warhol-esque paintings. The walls were designed and painted by textile designer, Camille Walala who was inspired by Warhol. There is also work by Colchester born artist Hattie Stewart who drew her inspiration from Warhol’s Cow. Her work pays a clear homage to pop art with its modern doodle like designs.
To help make the exhibition an educational experience, Firstsite has also created a creative zone called “The Factory”. The space is covered in reflective silver inspired by Warhol’s Silver Factory Studio. Tables and chairs are laid out across the space with invitations to grab a pencil and paper and get creative!
Warhol’s work is plastered all over the walls of Firstsite, beaming with colour against the white hallways. As Colchester’s first major exhibition- it is certainly a success.
Photo cred: Joeann Murphy