Pop Art 101 With Andy Warhol

Who was Warhol?

There were a lot of cool things going on in the Bay Area between August and September and one of the coolest pop-ups was the Andy Warhol exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “Insta-worthy” is a term that we hear a lot in this millennial generation, but something that truly represents “Insta-Worthy” is Andy Warhol’s Art. 

Andy Warhol died in 1987, but his impact is evident now, more than ever when it comes to our generation’s outlook on fame. In 1968, Andy Warhol stated, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”, but Little did he know that; that would actually be the case, a decade later.

Andy Warhol was known by his close friends as “Drella” (Dracula + Cinderella) was an American artist, director, and producer who popularized the visual art movement known as pop art. Pop art challenged traditional art by including imagery from popular and mass culture.


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is a nonprofit organization and the largest museum of modern and contemporary art in the United States. Known for its collection of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, and media arts. From May 19th to September 2nd, 2019 the museum presented the Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again special exhibition gallery. The exhibition showcased Warhol’s career and transition through his paintings, drawings, photography, film, and installations.

From A to B Exhibit

The first half of the exhibition starts with Warhol’s best-known art from the ’60s and ’70s. The exhibit goes on to highlight some of the most well-known movie stars and celebrities from his time, from Elvis Presley to Marilyn Monroe. Warhol even depicts Mao Zedong, also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who became the founding father of the People’s Republic of China. This huge painting is about 15 feet tall and is the most well-known Mao portrait by Warhol.

The A to B exhibit fills the Museum of Modern Art’s fourth-floor designated for temporary exhibits and extends to the second and fifth floors showcasing Warhol’s early drawings and works. Warhol truly made his entire life into an art exhibit, with more than 300 pieces of work including the iconic Brillo Boxes, and Green Coca-Cola Bottles created with Silkscreen ink, acrylic, and graphite on canvas pictured below.

My Favorite's

Among the pieces in the exhibition, my personal favorite’s were the self-portraits by the artist of himself and the Ladies and Gentlemen Series, representing the drag community boldly embracing their sexuality. Warhol’s public presentation of himself as an extension of his work is definitely relatable to the present day “Selfie” society we live in.

This Exhibit is a must-see even if you don’t know much about Warhol (like me at the time) it’s ok because you’ll learn more than you bargained for once you realize it’s not all about pop art. Warhol’s art touches on social and political issues from his time, that are still happening to this day. The tickets were $37.00 each so, depending on how often you plan to go visit the museum you might be better off getting an annual membership starting at $120 a year.

Warhol & Basquiat

Towards the end of the exhibit you’ll get to explore Warhol’s later work and collaboration with Jean-Michel Basquiat. This creative period was triggered after Warhol survived an assassination attempt in June of 1968, leading him to venture even further into experimental new media. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a new younger generation artist who started by displaying his work on the rotting walls of downtown Manhattan but rose in the art world by illustrating social issues like economic inequality, slavery, white supremacy, police brutality, and race relations.

Don’t forget to catch JR’s blockbuster digital mural “The Chronicles of San Francisco,” on the way out! It’s a massive 120-foot collage that captures San Francisco in all its unusual, crazed glory. Every person is presented at the same size, captured with the same light so that no person is more important than the other. This is located in the Roberts Family Gallery, which is the free portion of the museum just off the Howard Street entrance.

Did anyone else get to check out this exhibit? Leave a comment below letting me know what you think about Warhol’s from A to B and Back Again special exhibition gallery.

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