News / 

Andy is dandy

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

AS kids' icons go, most of the ones on exhibit at the Children's Museum of Manhattan are no-brainers.

Dr. Seuss: He's got juice. Charlie Brown: We're down. An aardvark named Arthur: Need we go farther?

But ... Andy Warhol, that legendary New York night-life denizen, Studio 54 partygoer, avant-garde filmmaker?

Yep. The white-haired, pasty-faced one gets the CMoM treatment in "The Art of Andy Warhol," which opens today.

"Andy would be thrilled. He wanted his art to be for everybody," says Bob Colacello, Warhol's longtime friend and the editor of Interview magazine.

"Andy was like a big kid. He was very childish in a lot of ways. He had the childlike ability to go into a room and notice one thing that was wrong - and say it," Colacello says with a laugh.

In this colorful show, young museum visitors will notice something, too.

Budding artists don't just get to look at the art - they can get down and dirty with paint, making their own silk-screened prints, just as Warhol did.

In keeping with the times, the museum calls it "an interactive exhibit." But you can call it "painteractive."

Want to make a Warhol-like silk-screen print? Here you'll make a stencil and affix it to a frame stretched with silk (or the less expensive cotton organdy). Placing the frame over the paper, canvas or even a T-shirt, you'll pour a little ink at the top of the frame and squeegee it across.

Lift the frame and, voila, you're an artist!

Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh and moved to Manhattan after college, in 1949, when he was 21. At first he worked as a commercial artist. Eventually, he found his calling in the Pop Art movement. He'd take everyday objects - most famously, a Campbell's Soup can - and enlarge them into a series of colorful silk-screen prints.

Some people were shocked. Others thought the works Warhol made, starting in the '60s, were groovy.

Warhol also liked to use images of actors, singers, politicians, superheroes and other celebrities, real and fictional, in his prints. A series of these vividly colorful 40-by-40-inch prints, dubbed "Myths," is on display, including Santa, Superman, Uncle Sam and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Enjoy your 15 minutes of Warhol fame by dressing up as one of them - there are costumes aplenty. A CMoM staffer can take your picture and send you home with a 4-by-6 glossy photo.

Besides the Myths, there are some other kid-friendly pieces on display - and they're hung pretty low on the walls to make for easy viewing by pint-size critics.

Check out a series of prints drawn from vintage toys and the art on the toy packages, like the Clockwork Panda Drummer and a pair of pictures of Cabbage Patch Dolls, one with green eyes, one with gold. Then compare them against the original toys and boxes on display in a glass case.

Warhol's friends and co-workers weren't the only ones impressed with his work. His nephew, James Warhola - Andy's original last name - wrote a book titled "Uncle Andy's." It's one of the books about Warhol and art that kids can curl up with at the show wile waiting for their silk-screen prints to dry.

In the book, the wide-eyed Pittsburgh kid describes his visits to Andy's place in New York:

"Uncle Andy was always making art. We loved watching him paint in his studio. He made regular stuff like soup cans, pop bottles and money look like real art."

And that's a real art.

Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St.; (212) 721-1223, Admission, $8.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast