Pen pals: Andy Warhol’s personal letters find a new lease of life as art

Pen pals: Andy Warhol’s personal letters find a new lease of life as art

It’s safe to say that Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes won’t expire any time soon. The latest evidence of the late artist’s omnipotence is a traveling exhibition titled ’Letters to Andy Warhol’, centred on letters pulled from the artist’s extensive archive.

For the project, Cadillac and The Andy Warhol Museum commissioned an international group of creatives to produce new work inspired by Warhol. Reflecting the polymath artist’s prowess, the exhibition spans several mediums, from a star-packed short film by Chiara Clemente to a song composed by Warhol family friend Sean Lennon.

One of the standout works, is a large than life-sized children’s book inspired by a rejection letter Warhol received from MoMA. Referencing the artist’s early career as a fashion illustrator, the work was created by shoe designer Brian Atwood and Wallpaper* Italy editor-at-large JJ Martin. ’The whole idea was around creative redemption,’ Martin explained. ’Even the most successful of us have all had terrible moments of rejection, of feeling stupid, unworthy and undesired.’

Turns out MoMA needed Warhol after all and the artist’s resilience – and ability to spin gold from the mundane – remains more prescient than ever. ’Warhol was the ultimate rebel and envelope pusher,’ says Martin. ’I think he resounds so well with creative types because he was such a champion of creators and artists. He understood their needs. Warhol is still so modern today.  Can you imagine what he would have done on social media?’

Following its New York showing at Cadillac House, the exhibition will travel to Los Angeles in mid-January for display at the 101/Exhibit Gallery and then to Miami in early February before embarking on a global tour through early 2018.

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