Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger and other love stories between art and rock

Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger

A 1975 color silkscreen by the king of pop-art Andy Warhol in tribute to Mick jaggersinger of the Rolling Stones -which is on display until July 19 in New York, at Christie’s auction house- makes it possible to draw a symbolic map of iconic works that have shown the virtuous fusion between art and music, of Juan Gatti a Spinettaof Rocambole a The Roundsof peter blake a the Beatles.

The iconic work that shows the portrait of the singer of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger -with an estimated value between 100,000 and 150,000 dollars-, is the main lot of the online art auction that the Christie’s house is already developing on the web.

Signed by both protagonists, the color work on Arches Aquarelle paper, approximately one meter by 70 centimeters, was signed in pencil by the pop artist and in marker by the British singer, and is numbered, as it is the 129th copy of a total of 250 impressions.

A visitor looks at American pop artist Andy Warhol's 1975 prints of Mick Jagger
A visitor looks at American pop artist Andy Warhol’s 1975 prints of Mick Jagger

There are numerous works in which the king of pop art took icons of visual culture to transform them into the motif of his work, as happened with Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, jackie kennedy either elizabeth taylor. But with the singer of the Rolling Stones he had a relationship of friendship and admiration like with few people: not only did he take numerous photographs of Jagger but Warhol was also in charge of designing one of the most famous covers in rock history, Sticky Fingers. That album by the British band in 1971 exhibited a -by then scandalous- close-up of the zipper of a pair of jeans.

The link between Warhol and the Rolling Stones is so strong that many credit the man with the platinum wig with having invented the emblematic language that distinguishes the English band, although in reality, the person who designed it was John Pasche. The famous red mouth was first included on the back cover of the album Sticky Fingershence the belief that Warhol himself had designed the logo.

There are many examples that fuse art and music -and they continue to this day-, but it is easy to understand why its peak moment took place thanks to pop-art, defined in the 50s by the artist Richard Hamilton as popular, short-lived, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and big business.

Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers
Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers

Pop art set out to make art an “everyday language and accessible to all audiences, based on popular and commercial culture, on TV and movie icons, on technology, fashion, consumption and, of course, rock idols. In it, objects cease to be unique to be produced in series and, also, art ceases to be unique and becomes one more consumer object.

But it is worth reviewing under what conditions and in what context this type of expression was born that amalgamated art and rock so well: when the Second World War ended, in 1945, there was a period in Europe and the United States marked by the austerity and the rationing of all the goods that any human being would need to survive. It was the perfect combo to turn -a few years later- towards the opposite: the beginning of the consumer boom, the birth of the mass media, serial productions, the so-called “American way of life”. Pop artists sought, in some way, to illuminate that post-war world that had been left tarnished and sorrowful; illuminate the future and use the icons of the moment. Thus they begin to use images and commercial objects, comics, banknotes, magazines, newspapers, famous people, advertisements, fast food, packaging, popular music, Hollywood TV and cinema to create colourful, everyday and accessible pieces.

“This is tomorrow” (this is tomorrow) was the title of one of the first exhibitions carried out by the members of this movement, where a newspaper clipping appears in one of the works, colored with the word Pop, which gave its name to the movement and was a turning point in the history of the movement. art as we know it. Some of the artists who were part of its beginnings were David Hockney, Allen Jones, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns Y peter blake; the latter is precisely the author of the very famous collage that illustrates the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Bandof the Beatles.

  Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

While pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein they focused on comics and their characters like Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny or Donald Duck, others like Warhol aimed their cannons at idols, although not only those of rock: Jagger, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor. Just a few weeks ago last May, Andy Warhol’s iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, from 1964 sold for a record $195 million at Christie’s in New York and became the second most expensive work of art in history.

With the serigraphs, a serial repetition of these images that are so popular and for everyone (a metaphor for the United States in the eyes of the artist who is the son of immigrants?), Warhol could also point out how society turned its idols into objects of consumption.

Undoubtedly, one of Warhol’s most emblematic works linked to music is the minimalist one he created for the cover of The Velvet Undergroundthe band of Lou Reedand the mythical banana, honored by art ad nauseam in the following decades.

Cap of "The Velvet Underground & Nico"designed by Warhol
Cover of “The Velvet Underground & Nico”, designed by Warhol

Probably the category of album “covers” has given unforgettable samples of the romance between art and music, as is the case of Michael Cooper, who was in charge of the album cover art Their Satanic Majesties claim of the Rolling Stones, and we must not forget the sculpture that Jeff Koons made of the same Lady Gaga for your album cover art pop.

The cover that the enigmatic graffiti artist banksy performed for the band blur and his album thinktank is dissimilar in time and style to the publication of Daydream Nationthe fifth studio album by sonic youthwhose cover shows a candle from a painting of Gerhard Richter.

The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe portrayed her friend, lover and confidante, the singer and poet pattie smith (with whom he lived in the mythical Chelsea Hotel, along with other artists) for the cover of his debut album “Horses” in 1975. Smith later recounted, in detail, how his relationship with the photographer was in the great memoir ” We were kids.”

Banksy, Gerhard Richter and Jeff Koons on covers
Banksy, Gerhard Richter and Jeff Koons on covers

At a local level, the cover that the Argentine artist Juan Gatti made for Artaud of Rabid fish, the most famous, disruptive and irregular album silhouette in local history, with a green background and a yellow stain, next to a small photo of the French poet. Gatti was responsible for several covers of the early years of Argentine rock, but Artaud is remembered as one of the jewels of cover design of all time.

The “ricotera mass” or “the world’s largest pogo” would not be what it is without the rags, t-shirts and flags that proudly display the same illustrations that Richard Cohenmuch better known as Rocamboleperformed for records Ricotta Roundsa mystique that continued in the recitals of the Indio Solari first and the fundamentalists after.

Rocambole made not only the cover art for all the albums of the band from La Plata, but also the posters and tickets to the shows, that is, the visual identity of one of the most important groups of recent years. The drawings of him for Gulp!, October, Bang! Bang!… You are finished either Luzbelito They are still present today also in flags, t-shirts and backpacks.

Source: Telam SE

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