Andy Warhol: Making Money


My mother got this out of the library to read — I’m not sure why. She knows I like Warhol, but I don’t know what specifically about this book seemed like something thing I needed to read. More generally, I don’t know why she checks out books from the library for me. She knows I have enough things to read, and generally her presents just wind up lying around and racking up late fees. I read all of this though. It’s easy enough to get through a book when the only writing is the introductions.

The bulk of this book is Andy Warhol drawing the $ money sign again and again. It starts off very blobby and loose, then gets more and more refined over the pages. It could almost be a flip book animation, but it isn’t quite that neat.

There’s some point to be found about how money is symbolic, how it’s an invention not reality, and how drawing it over and over draws attention to how ridiculous this is. It would be a really interesting metaphor to work with if you felt like digging into that.

The introductions are interesting on their own. This book was written as a gift for a preteen girl whose parents were friends of Warhol.

That’s so strange — Andy Warhol was people’s parents friend. That’s just like, next level. That’s unreal. But at the same time I know that to a lot of people find my childhood, where my parents were constantly making art and music, really strange too. It isn’t the same scale at all, but not having creative parents and growing up around artists and musicians seems just as impossible as having your parents be friends with Andy Warhol. I always have to pause and remember that for most people being a creative type isn’t shown as a viable plan, or at least not as something ordinary. Sure my folks are weird, but I wouldn’t give that up for anything.

One of my favorite things about Warhol is that he makes art a part of the everyday/the everyday into art. Soup cans, commercials, and celebrities are all art. Library books are art. Money is art. Most things are art, or at least they can be.

Making art everywhere makes the idea of making art much less intimidating. If your parents are friends with artists, if your mother is an artist, then maybe you’re an artist, or at least maybe you could be.


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