Andy Warhol — pop art icon, self-promoter and cultural pundit — was as celebrated for his creative talents as for his quotes. His prediction — “In the future everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes” — was made long before the dawn of reality TV, the Internet, and social media.
Despite referring to himself as a “deeply superficial person,” Warhol’s legacy has survived long after his death in 1987. Warhol’s art still fetches millions of dollars at auction and many of his images have left lasting impressions. His work is currently on display at two museum exhibits in Washington, D.C.: “Shadows” at the Hirshhorn Museum and “Headlines” at the National Gallery of Art.
His last TV project, the show “Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes,” was broadcast on MTV in the mid-1980s and featured interviews with celebrities and cultural figures. Meanwhile, his “Fifteen minutes of fame” forecast from the 1960s is truer now than ever. Countless others have briefly made headlines and then quickly faded from view. After the jump are four artistic examples from this past year.
Jonathan Mak, a 19 year old artist and student, designed an image of Steve Jobs’ silhouette against the background of the Apple logo. He created the visual in August after Jobs stepped down as Apple’s CEO. The design served as a tribute after Jobs’ death and it soon went viral on social media. Then another artist, Chris Thornley, claimed he had created a similar logo earlier in the year, and Mak was accused of ripping him off. According to both parties, the matter has since been resolved.
Twitter: Source of Osama Bin Laden Death Rumor Keith Urbahn, chief of staff in the office of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (not the well-known country western singer), was the pivotal source of Twitter rumors surrounding Osama Bin Laden’s death in May. Urbahn was identified based on Social Flow’s analysis and illustration of Twitter traffic patterns prior to the official White House announcement of the terrorist leader’s death.
YouTube: “Kids Trash Home with Flour in Minutes” Video When Mary Napoli came out of her bathroom, she found her boys, toddlers Andrew and Zachary, had spread flour all over the living room, creating a huge mess. She captured the scene in a video that was viewed over two million times on YouTube. It was also shown on the evening news and the family appeared on the Today show. However, many viewers commenting on Facebook thought the video was staged.
Facebook and Reddit: Politically Incorrect Map of New Jersey’s Regions Joe Steinfeld, a recent Rutgers University graduate, created a colorful and polarizing map of New Jersey in December. His map contained stereotyped labels for each region of the state. He initially posted the map on Reddit and it made the rounds on Facebook where over eight hundred thousand people posted comments. Some considered the map to be funny, while many others were highly insulted.