Monday, September 6, 2010

A Popular Last Supper

Yesterday, I visited the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, "The Last Decade".  One of the pieces that intrigued me most was "The Last Supper" (the Big "C").  Warhol's irony always leaves space for a dialogue, and his late obsession with religious images invites a longer horizon than his glitzy commercial pop images.  The themes in this picture are so familiar, those bad boys, former Hell's Angels, now converted, clinging to the emblems of their former lives.  Salvation is not out of reach:  $6.99!  I was struck by a section of the painting which seems to underlie the kitschy presentation of Christ, a second image of the Savior, with the details of the eye crossed in death as for a cartoon figure but sketched as a dagger, and the circle at the gather of his cloak recalls a simplified sacred heart with emanating rays.  There is a dignity to this sketch resurrected from crude depictions of popular piety.

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