Diaspora-Artists logo

Andy Warhol

Born, 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA. Died, 1987

Hugely influential artist and iconaclast Andy Warhol was cited as one of the influences on Hew Locke, in an essay on his work King Creole - Hew Locke’s New Visions of Empire written by Kris Kuramitsu for Locke’s solo exhibition at The New Art Gallery Walsall, 29 April - 26 June 2005. “From Andy Warhol’s electrically coloured serial images of celebrity to the carved masks of the Kuba in Zaire, from cheap plastic toys to Velasquez and Victorian prints, Locke combines and accelerates these elements to create complex visual fantasias that investigate the relationships between privilege, wealth and cultural power.”

Another artist influenced by Andy Warhol is Keith Piper. Warhol’s Little Rock Race Riot, 1964 was reproduced in Piper’s Relocating the Remains catalogue, the main text of which was written by Kobena Mercer. The chapter in which Warhol’s work appears is Art’s Histories and Culture’s Geographies: 1979 - 1985. Mercer offered the view that “While Pop [art] mostly ignored the Civil Rights era - Andy Warhol’s Little Race Riot (1964) being an exception that proves (sic) the rule…”

Warhol is also significant (within the context of Black artists) for having collaborated with fellow American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, during the mid 1980s.  A portrait of the two of them is one of the images that adorns the cover of Sandy Nairne’s book State of the Art.

Focussing on the same piece of Warhol’s work as Mercer had done (both Relocating the Remains and Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century were published without a relatively short time of each other, in 1997), Powell described Warhol’s significance as follows: “Artistic responses to [the] media-saturated culture ranged from an empathy with the merging of art and society, to a suspicion of pop culture’s infiltration into people’s lives. When further compounded by the issue of race, these responses become even more complicated. For example, in Andy Warhol’s Race Riot (1964) the widely-reported police-dog attacks on black demonsttrators in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 were transfered into radar blip-like graphics, drained of all emotional impact and details.” The work in question (given a slightly differing title by each of these two writers) is reproduced alongside this text.

Andy Warhol’s Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975 - was reproduced in Kobena Mercer’s Introduction to  Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures (2007) which was also edited by Mercer. One of four books in a series titled Annotating Art’s Histories, jointly published by The MIT Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Iniva the Institute of International Visual Arts, London.


Related items

click to show details of Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century

»  Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century

Book relating to a publication, 1997



Book relating to an individual

click to show details of Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures

»  Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures

Book relating to a publication, 2007

click to show details of Relocating the Remains

»  Relocating the Remains

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1997