Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions

Most of us are familiar with Andy Warhol's Pop Art to the degree that we immediately recognize his iconic images of Jackie O, Elvis, and Marilyn Monroe. Little do many people know that Warhol had a deeply religious side, one which particularly emerged in the last few years of his life.

This morning's Chron has an interview with Jane Dillenberger, who's an art historian in Berkeley. She specializes in Warhol's images of the Last Supper. I was lucky enough to take a grad course on modern art and religion from her several years ago. Dillenberger, at 92, is this graceful spitfire of a woman. We sat in her living room and she held us all rapt with her stories of her work over the last half-century.

Above left is one of Warhol's many Last Supper renderings, this one with the Dove and GE symbols superimposed on Da Vinci's iconic painting (1986). Read the article for an interesting perspective on this eccentric and elusive American artist. Dillenberger's remarks about Michelangelo's Pieta at the end of the interview are particularly poignant, and to me best represent the mysterious power of art to indeed transcend the self and the small individual experience, particularly in the horrors of sorrow and loss.

Berkeley Art Historian on Creativity, Prayer and the Spirituality of Andy Warhol (SF Chron)


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