©2001 Wayne Koestenbaum; (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Koestenbaum's highly regarded biography makes its way onto [audio] courtesy of the excellent narration of Arthur Addison." (Library Journal)
Wayne Koestenbaum looks past Warhols blond wig but he sees through rose-colored glasses. This worthwhile and entertaining book fails to balance criticism of Warhols failures with its gushing praise of his successes. Koestenbaums analysis of Warhols work in various media does not substantiate his wholesale acceptance of them. Nevertheless, the book orients the wide spectrum of Warhols prolific vision and influence in Art History.
Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I expected some enlightenment regarding the art of Andy Warhol in this small book. I heard a lot about his relationship with his cats, his mother, his objects of voyeurism, but regarding something deeper, more meaningful ... very little. Is there an effort to express deeper concerns? Metaphysics, questions of meaning, reality, sources of human knowledge are left unasked and unanswered.
This account is filled with allusions to depth of expression, but plumbs little deeper than his mother's colostomy bag and its possible metaphorical significance to his art. Don't get me wrong, its not that I would object to achieving even some small epiphany through a colostomy bag (metaphorically speaking); its that no significant enlightenment was forthcoming. The verbalization of the meaning of Warhol's visual work by this author expressed only a profound shallowness, leaving this listener bored. Unfortunately, not being satisfied with boredom, the author also effectively elicits annoyance by his pretentious, overblown, but ultimately empty style. I am unwilling to extend this critique to the object of this biography, Andy Warhol, but this book leaves much to be desired.
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