For the Politician’s Culture-Savvy Daughter
Remember this? Right around publication date for one of our titles, Andy Warhol, Meghan McCain posted a Twitpic of herself on a night-in, happily ready to curl up with our new book. Okay, okay, we were so surprised at the coincidence (not her reading choice) that we even had a “15 Minutes of Fame” contest.
Sadly for McCain and us, the picture sparked a controversy that drew more attention to her shirt rather than what she was holding. When she spoke out in her Daily Beast column about the attention she was receiving, the book was a side note. Sure, there was more to talk about, a reputation to defend, but one book is not like any other, and the whole controversy lacked…substance.
Nowadays, no one seems to care for reading when there’s a visual scandal around, but ironically, Andy Warhol certainly provided no small amount of controversy in visual art, intentionally and inadvertently. Written by the popular professor and critic, Arthur Danto, Andy Warhol is part of our Icons of America series, where authors take on the specific task of showing how figures, events, landmarks, and ideas fit into our cultural imagination. Warhol, who often made use of popular images and celebrities, accomplished, as Danto writes, “something of significance as far as the shape of [the art frontier] was concerned. Artistic change has to be recognized and accepted as such by what we shall designate (to follow usage) as “the art world” of that time—certain curators, dealers, critics, collectors, and, of course, other artists.” Danto self-consciously writes that a “new” biography is impossible; his intention is to bring out the “life” of Warhol that has most influenced our American philosophy and perception of art.
So let’s not hear any more about scandal and how it troubled an otherwise peaceful evening. Meghan, what did you think of the book?