Monday, February 07, 2005

Self-portraits of a mirror

"How, you might wonder," wonders Peter Conrad in the Observer, "does a man without a self to portray turn into a compulsive, versatile self-portraitist? Andy Warhol was a mirror ... and, as he once remarked, when a mirror looks in the mirror there is nothing for it to see."

Conrad is writing about an exhibition of 85 self-portraits of Warhol that opens next week. So what do they reveal? Conrad writes:
[T]he more earnestly Warhol aspired to merge with everyone else, the more he stood out as an eccentric, complex self-creation, at once gormless and ghoulish, trivial and tragic, a ditzy socialite and a moralist who stoked up the bonfire of vanities and then consigned himself to the flames.

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