Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pop Rock

This is a music for the no-wave combo "Khmer Rouge" that Fred Mogubgub made with Nat Finkelstein.
Nat is a photographer and chronicled the New York Pop Art world of the 1960s, mainly through his close association with Warhol.  He's also the last person to have a phone conversation with the animator before his death in 1989.
Made in 1984, it demonstrates a few interesting things.  
Most obvious, is collaboration.  This piece bears the stamp of Nat, it's clearly his work.  But it's also clearly Mogubgub's.  Both men have legitimate creative "ownership".
History makes me think about something further.   These two men met (probably) in the sixties.  (I say "probably" because I've yet to take up his months old offer of lunch, and thus have shunned the opportunity to ask these sorts of questions)  That was heyday of Pop Art.  When Pop ruled.
Warhol, of course, was the lightening rod.  He was the connection between museums and galleries, rock and roll and chamber music, "high" art like painting and "low" art like cartoons.  Warhol remains a powerful figure because he was the embodiment of all this in a manner that no individual in our lexicon has matched.
In 1984 the "Factory Formula" was still working, as evidenced by this music video.  I suspect, that it was in effect before Warhol's Pop Art era but there was no figurehead to give it a name.
The same "high" and "low" crossover happens today.  The crossing of contemporary art into mainstream culture is no less fertile now that 40 years ago.  The difference, today -no spokesman.

No comments: