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The life and work of Andy Warhol has inspired many writers to tell of the artists secrets in published writings However Carter Ratcliff accomplishes this feat in a unique fashion profiling Warhols work in Andy Warhol A must-read for anybody interested in the origins of American Pop art Ratcliffs book touches on all aspects of Warhols work Segmented chronologically Ratcliff explains the influence and significance of select paintings as well as sections devoted to Warhols sketches photographs movies and notes on the techniques used by the artist This format combined with the inclusion of nearly 100 prints of paintings is effective because a natural theme flows through the chronological ordering of the monograph Some of the influences are obvious in Warhols work However the cumulative effect of the artists attempts is more easily understood through the chronological ordering of the pieces The chronological ordering helps the reader understand what social or personal beliefs or conflicts the artist was dealing with pertaining to the given time period For example Warhol produced many pieces with singular subject matter displayed multiple times as in his Campbells soup cans Coca-Cola bottles and dollar signs possibly just comforting symbols to Warhol as well as the American Pop Culture Also Ratcliff leads the reader on a journey through the details effects and consequences of the work The author also describes similarities in select Warhol pieces The development of Warhol as an artist is easily understood using this format as his work transforms from the playful character of Saturdays Popeye Figure 1 to the realism of Skull or the political power of the Hammer and Sickle series Andy Warhol takes a convincing and comprehensive look at the pursuits of the artist basing observations on a plethora of sources The information cited in each section is a cumulation of Ratcliffs investigation interviews with Warhol and references to the writings of other critics Basing his survey largely in the ideas of
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