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Andy Warhol Mustard Race Riot, 1963

Mustard Race Riot

Artwork Factory

The title of this large diptych by Andy Warhol, almost 4 x 3 m in size, refers on the one hand to the photographs used and on the other hand to the color of the two canvases. Densely printed motifs of violence stand next to a mustard-yellow void. Here, as in many of his works, Andy Warhol combined the techniques of painting and silkscreen.

Series “Death and Disaster”

Andy Warhol pointed out the dark side of the American way of life in his “Death and Disaster” series: police violence, capital punishment, car accidents. This is also the case in “Mustard Race Riot” (1964).

 

In May 1963, the photojournalist Charles Moore documented a demonstration by the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama. People of Color were demonstrating against racism when the police violently ended the protest and set guard dogs on the protesters. Charles’ photos were printed in “Life” magazine and an outcry went up around the world! Andy used the photos in his artwork shortly after.

AHA!

Why does Andy Warhol juxtapose the photography print with a monochrome canvas? How do abundant images and monochrome canvas go together?

 

Repetition of the motif

The empty canvas

DISCUSS

Is there a difference between an original and a reproduction? What is it? What is special about an original? When is a print an original?

"But when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn’t really have any effect."

Andy Warhol

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Opinion

Whether on the subway, in the news or on our own smartphone—a constant flood of images and information accompanies us.

 

Why are some images remembered and others not? How do media creators use images to capture and direct our attention?

Ponder this

Why do artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Laura Owens, and Andy Warhol use the diptych or triptych format? What does the multipart nature of a work make possible?

Explained briefly

When a painting consists of two parts, it is called a diptych. The word comes from the Greek and means “folded twice.” Diptychs are known in Western culture mainly as Christian altarpieces.

Delve deeper

Artist Factory

Andy Warhol

was born in Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, USA in 1928 and died in New York in 1987.

DISCUSS

What makes someone an artist? Determination or talent? Will or genius?