Monday, May 9, 2011

Warhol, Jackie and SEO

The top feature in today's ArtDaily Newsletter is about Andy Warhol's "Sixteen Jackies" which is going on sale at Sotheby's on May 10. They are predicting it will fetch 30 million dollars. I'm wondering if having these pieces featured in news stories like this one helps amp their prices by increasing their apparent value. I'm also curious how many prints were made the day this one was screened. The article calls it a painting, but it's a screen printed piece, right?

Warhol's persistent use of celebrities and ubiquitous imagery is a real life illustration of how the Google algorithm weighs the value of websites on the internet. Internet marketers are keenly interested in having a high ranking in the search engines so that net surfers will find their wares more easily. One way to get a high rank is to be linked to websites with still higher rankings, and vice versa. The affiliation increases the value of the affiliated.

No doubt Warhol knew what he was doing by giving us a multitude of Marilyns and Liz Taylors. He hitched himself to stars and was thereby lifted to heights unseen in a screen print artist. The timing was right, too, as photostencil technology was coming of age. When Picasso claimed to have produced 4,000 masterpieces in his lifetime, Warhol quipped, "I can produce 4,000 masterpieces in one day."

Andy stayed current with the technology and produced work that really does have impact, though in his ironic way he actually stated the opposite. "The more you look at the same exact thing, the more the meaning goes away and the better and emptier you feel," Warhol explained in 1975.

A shrewd marketer, Warhol catapulted himself into the center of the contemporary art scene. His prints, drawings and paintings are among the most coveted and valued in the art world today.

Top right: Warhol On Easel, photo in my studio.

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