Wednesday, March 18, 2009

warhol does the grand palais




“All my portraits have to be the same size, so they’ll all fit together and make one big painting called Portraits of Society. That’s a good idea, isn’t it? Maybe the Metropolitan Museum would want it someday.”


Warhol, credited with single-handedly reinventing the portrait, once spoke of his dream to have all of them combined in one spectacular piece of art; although his dream could not be recreated exactly as he wished, the exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris is the closest anyone has ever come. In “Warhol’s Wide World,” which is on display starting this week until the middle of July, 140 of Warhol’s portraits were put on display, some of them emerging for the first time from private collections. Warhol created about 1,000 portraits during his career, either of persons of interest such as Marilyn Monroe and Mao Zedong, or those who commissioned him for $25,000 a piece.

Absent from this showcase will be the portrait of Yves Saint Laurent, who was previously placed in the “Glamour” section near other designers like Armani and intended to be a focal point of the exhibition. However, his former partner Pierre Berge found this placement catastrophic. In a letter to the Le Monde, Berge explained, “To show the portraits of Yves Saint Lauren with personalities from the fashion world, even if some of them have talent, was unthinkable… To put Saint Laurent in the ‘glamour’ section would be to show disrespect for his oeuvre and to mix him up with the ‘beautiful people.'"


For visiting information check out the Grand Palais.


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