Andy Warhol Red Car Crash Analysed

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Andy Warhol Red Car Crash (Death and Disaster Series 1963)

It is important to note that Andy Warhol’s Red Car Crash Piece was part of a series of car crash images produced in different colours and repeated and put in groups of the same image and colour. Warhol was a serial artist that used the same image again and again in different pieces and so the red car crash image can be taken to be self-contained but also as part of a bigger picture.

Warhol’s Pop Art style was clearly deadpan; it was often the endless repetition of mass media. He consistently, unlike the likes of Pollock (who ironically died in a car crash) used Commercial images in a commercial way. This somewhat removes him from his work emotionally. The Red Car Crash image is no exception and for me this is what makes it so violent and morbid. Warhol takes a violent subject matter and makes it look like a commercial image. The piece is conventional in form, however Warhol chooses a media image of a car crash; which is a violent subject matter in its own right and then paints over it, removes emotion and turns it into ‘the normal’ everyday image, which alone is violent and disturbed. The actual process of printing can also be seen to remove him from the process and in the same way take away any empathy from him towards the piece, which again is dark. Warhol makes the piece as a whole more powerful by being unconventional in taking himself away from the process. This is supported by him stating that the reason he is “painting in this way is that “ he wants to be like “a machine” thus removing emotion away from the piece. Warhol took the red car crash image and re printed it and put the same image together, again taking away himself and the viewer and making it more normal and less horrific. Looking at the image itself and up close you gain a different…...

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