By: Kat Harlton
Photography: Tiffany Shum

This past Friday I had the opportunity to check out the new Tiff Bell Lightbox exhibit: Andy Warhol: Stars Of The Silver Screen, which allows attendees a closer look into the life of the popular twentieth century artist and those who were closest to him.

The exhibit runs from now until Jan 24th 2016 and is organized by The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and is presented in collaboration with TIFF. It is curated by Geralyn Huxley and Matt Wrbican from The Andy Warhol Museum, with Jon Davies as Managing Curator for TIFF.

The exhibit takes the viewer on a discovery through various mediums and subjects including celebrity, advertising, LGBT culture, mass media, abstraction, politics and Warhol’s self reflection.

Featuring some of his more famous work such as iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, it also features personal letters, photographs, articles of clothing, notes, scribbles, audio and film.

I think what struck me the most was how ahead of his time Warhol was. Much of his art still resonates over 30 years later. In a world where everything is instagramable and everyone can have their 15 mins of fame, there is also a sense of a loss of freedom. The celebrity subjects in Warhol’s photographs are without inhibition, are vulnerable, are in the moment, and are being themselves, something I fear is hard to capture in our modern society where everyone is obsessed with appearances and how people will react.  Yes, Warhol was a little kooky, and ‘out there’ but it is in these moments that he and his subjects played and discovered that, by doing so, allowed for the pursuing and pushing of boundaries.

At the end of the exhibit, attendees are invited to take a ‘Screen Test’ using a touch screen that controls a camera and two movie lights, allowing for a silent film portrait of oneself that is uploaded to the web for sharing. Once complete the screen test will be transformed digitally to slow motion and, after approximately five minutes, the attendee will receive an e-mail with instructions for viewing it. I was hesitant to do the screen test at first, since it can be displayed, but it was a fun aspect of the exhibit, and encourages viewers out of their comfort zone – exactly what Warhol would’ve wanted.

If you’re a pop art enthusiast, a Warhol fanatic, or appreciate art in general, then I highly suggest checking out this exhibit. Special thanks to the Tiff Bell Lightbox staff for allowing us photography access, and for all their help while viewing the exhibit. Much appreciated.

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