Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Snap! Warhol at the Massillon Museum

Snap! Warhol: In the Photobooth with Andy Warhol & Friends at the Massillon Museum
A review by Joanna Wilson

If you haven't already heard, there is a small yet provocative exhibit at the Massillon Museum right now.  In the farthest reaches of the sprawling Empire, the Massillon Museum is currently hosting an exhibit of images of and by pop artist Andy Warhol.

The photobooth photos at the Massillon Museum exhibit contain images of Warhol, his friends such as glamor girl Edie Sedgwick, and many more of Warhol's inner circle.

The exhibit consists of a collection of photobooth images, Polaroids, and then by extension screenprinted paintings made from photographs.  Today's obsession with images (how many selfies have you have posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?) is a natural time to reflect on Warhol's own fascination with portraiture, celebrity, and photo manipulation.  And, this incredible exhibit is in our own backyard--to the south located in downtown Massillon!

Warhol also made colorful screenprints taken from photographs.  The Massillon Museum has one of the spectacular Elizabeth Taylor prints as well as a print of Mick Jagger on display.

Warhol was interested in photobooth images and Polaroids because the technology was inexpensive--and accessible to everyone.  A photobooth (and a Polaroid camera) would dispense its photos immediately--you didn't have to take exposed film to a camera shop or a drug store to have it developed.  And, a photobooth was a private place--as long as you closed the curtain--and you easily and comfortably step outside expectation of traditional portraiture by making funny faces, sporting sunglasses, or even donning a disguise!  Nearly everyone today takes for granted the ease of use of digital photography, its ready access, and the speed and convenience of image manipulation.  However, Warhol engaged in this conversation fifty years ago--and his words still speak loudly.

While you're at the Massillon Museum, be sure to step inside their photobooth and get your photo taken.  This photobooth still uses the old chemical processing method to produce its photos--and the results are quite different than digital photobooth images.  Check it out!

Snap! Warhol: In the Photobooth with Andy Warhol & Friends exhibit continues now through October 13, 2013.  Don't forget to make your own photos in the photobooth located in the lobby area.  And, as always the Massillon Museum is free and open to the public.

If you are looking for a special event, consider attending Friday August 23rd at 6:30pm.  The Massillon Museum will host a gallery talk with curator Nicholas Chambers from The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.  That event is also free.

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way E., Massillon OH 44646
They are open Tues-Sat: 9:30a-5p, Sundays 2p-5p.
Massillon Museum website
Massillon Museum on Facebook

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