This is Warhol, and it's art history like you've never seen it before

Ok, so I'll admit I stole that tagline from this video on the new series from Laurence King Publishing, but it perfectly encapsulates the book I found in my letterbox.

So, there's a new book series, written by art historian Catherine Ingram, that looks at some of the most familiar names in art. Released next week, these books are eighty-page compressions of the lives of three famous artists: This is Warhol, This is Dali and This is Pollock. You may be able to recall the artists' first names (and if you can't, minus ten points to you).

I will totally admit I was just going to flick through the books and only focus on the bits that interested me; much like any book that plonks itself in the art history section. But when I picked up the Warhol book, I couldn't help but read it from cover to cover in one sitting (and believe me, that is a rare occurrence for this illiterate art lover).

I think it was partially to do with the fact that it's not intimidatingly long, but also because the illustrations are just so fun to look at (scroll down for proof). And you find out things to recite to make yourself sound cultured and intelligent in those situations where you need a little intellectual ammo at your disposal. Things like:

  • Andy Warhol had 25 cats. 24 of them were called Sam. 

  • Andy Warhol would encourage the Sams and the non-Sam to pee on his snazzy shoes to reinforce what he called the 'scruffy artist' look.

  • When he first moved to New York, Andy Warhol would sit in hotel lobbies to spot celebrities. 

  • Aptly, given the name of the magazine and the source of the artist's inspiration, Glamour was the first title to print Andy Warhol's drawings.

  • Andy Warhol (literally) bought the idea to paint Campbell's soup cans off his contemporary, Muriel Latow.

...And those are just five things I remember off the top of my head. Yeah, you could probably learn lots of this by Googling around the artist, and yeah, it's not exactly ground-breaking art history intellectualism; but it's not trying to be, and nor do we want it to be. This book and its series sisters are physically light enough to be carried around in your bag, and intellectually light enough to be carried around in your head. It's aesthetically beautiful and of course, almost endlessly reproducible, I have a feeling Andy Warhol would like that.

Wanna buy? Head on over to Laurence King Publishing to find out more about the book series - and keep an eye on Artwork Wednesdays, as Pollock and Dali are queuing up!

psst... My take on This is Pollock and This is Dali will follow. I just kinda thought Andy would be rolling over in his grave if he wasn't given a whole post to himself.

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