Andy Warhol is probably the best known pop artist of the last century, but did you know he was a practicing, devout Eastern-rite Catholic? That he slept with a prayer book and a rosary on his bedside table? That he went to Church almost daily? That, although he was openly gay, he tried to practice chastity?
Toward the end of his life, he embarked on the largest series of paintings he would ever do inspired by Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
Here are a few of his paintings to look at and ponder on this Good Friday.
True to form, he had to juxtapose the Last Supper with logos and commercial items. One art critic I found commented that he was making a point about superficiality and materialism in religion. What do you think? In what ways is your faith superficial or materialistic?
Here it seems he may have been doing one of two things: 1) Simply meditating on aspects of the painting or 2) Making a statement about how certain religious images are repeated so often that they cease to have meaning. What do you think? Is there any good in repetition? What is the good? What is the danger in seeing or doing the same thing often?
Many people who look at these paintings comment on the combination of the sacred and the profane. You have heard me comment before, that as Catholics, there really isn’t any delineation between the sacred and the profane. Everything has a connection to the Divine. What do you think? If you were to really embrace the idea that God has a place everywhere in your life, what would need to change?
And, finally, it appears in more than one of the paintings, “Be somebody with a body.” What the heck does that mean? It is often found with a picture of Jesus who is God in human flesh. We also recognize that we are ensouled bodies as well as embodied souls. Our bodies are very much a part of who we are and what we do with our bodies have huge repercussions in this life and the next that we can’t even begin to imagine. What do you think Warhol means here?
Have a good Good Friday!