For anyone who’s working on the Warhol piece for their research paper, here’s an essay by John Blakinger about Warhol’s source material in his “death and disaster” works that deal with car wrecks and other creepy imagery that Warhol appropriated into his art. It doesn’t explicitly mention the Birmingham Race Riot photo, but Blakinger goes into detail about how Warhol extracted many of the images he used from Life Magazine and other periodicals. While most of us are familiar with Warhol for his work with the Campbell’s soup cans and contemporary pop culture idols like Marilyn Monroe, Warhol had an interesting, if not unhealthy, fascination with death. Even his renowned Marilyn Monroe print has been referred to as his first “death” work as it was completed the year Monroe mysteriously died. Even if you aren’t working on the Warhol piece, I would highly suggest reading this essay. As someone who was always ho-hum about Andy Warhol (especially after what I thought was a disastrous “Regarding Warhol” exhibition at the MET), this piece made me critically reassess his work and his processes. There’s definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to Warhol; it’s not all bright Pop colors and superficial celebration of products that we know and love. It is also written by a Wes alum so all the more reason to read it!
I’ve attached it as a PDF below. If it doesn’t download/open for whatever reason and you’re interested in reading, I’d be more than happy to email it you!