I mention David Bowie because his constant challenging and inventive artistry might be compared to Warhol and Weiwei. One of our fun days out was to see the Andy Warhol - Ai Weiwei exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. It is truly spectacular, beautiful, esoteric, fun, thought-provoking and innovative. A bit like David Bowie!
For those who are not familiar with Andy Warhol and Ai WeiWei, they are two innovative and significant artists whose lives and art have similarities. Andy Warhol was born in 1928 and achieved fame as a pioneer of pop art in New York in the 1960s. He died in 1987. Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing and is a contemporary artist and political activist who is still alive. They never met but Weiwei was exposed to Warhol's work when living in Manhattan in the early 1980s.
Grass Mud Horse which is a symbol of defiance against Chinese internet censorship). They float in front of a wallpaper that on closer inspection has CCTV, Twitter and Llama motifs. It is a place of beauty and peace with deeper ideas imbedded in the imagery.
We are there long enough for me to take up a conversation with the guard who has the thankless task of asking children to be gentle with the balloons. She tells me they have to replace some of the balloons when they get shabby. And that Weiwei personally designed the space. "So what was he like", I ask in fascination. Apparently he was always in the other room to this guard! So no insights there. What a shame. The whole exhibition shows him to be an amazing person.
Stendahl's Syndrome by then.) The one piece of information that fascinated me was the sparkle on some of Warhol's prints came from crushed glass scattered in the ink.
I really liked how the Gallery has lunchboxes ($8.50) for the kids. I ordered one for Sylvia with a cheese and vegemite sandwich, veggie sticks, hummus dip, muesli bar and apple juice. It seemed perfect for her (in a world where not many lunches at cafes are). I also bought a similar one for Dash but with ham and cheese sandwich. And for myself I bought a Vegetable Love roll with roast vegetables, brie, macadamia and pesto ($12). It all seemed just right.
I highly recommend the Warhol WeiWei exhibition even despite the hefty price of $26 per adult. I could go back and spend more time looking at images, wandering what on earth the artists were thinking and watching multi media. I am hoping I might have the opportunity but you never know what life will bring!
Andy Warhol Ai Weiwei exhibition
$26 per adult, $10 per child
Studio Cats: Andy Warhol Ai Weiwei for kids
Grollo Equiset Garden (through the foyer and the Great Hall)
NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne
11 December 2015 - 24 April 2015
10am - 8pm in January