If Andy Warhol had never lived -- turning Campbell's Soup cans into pop art icons, injecting the "15 minutes of fame" meme into our collective consciousness -- American culture, as we know it, might never have happened. Warhol's peculiar, vapid genius, along with his obsessions with fame, money, and youth, presaged Facebook, American Idol, the Kardashians, and the thousands of online and print organs dedicated to trumpeting every blasphemous burble and trivial pursuit of celebrities ranging from Brangelina to Honey Boo Boo.
That's why we decided to kick off our new vlog/blog Dharma Salon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, talking about what art is -- and isn't -- to bring our two very different perspectives as spiritual authors and teachers to Warhol's quintessentially-superficial and thought-provoking moment in American cultural history. We wanted to momentarily immerse ourselves in a worldview that glorified the external and the trite by way of contrasting that view to a love of the subtle and profound. Our goal with Dharma Salon is to be the "eyes and ears on the ground" for culturally-minded dharma bums around the world who are interested in artistic and intellectual events in New York, the city still unparalleled for its sheer volume of creative talent and exciting ideas.
As a special treat, Mark reminisces in the video here about his days working for Andy Warhol at Interview Magazine and meeting many of the artists represented at the Met show, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
Till next time!
Mark Matousek is the bestselling author of two memoirs, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story, The Boy He Left Behind: A Man's Search for his Lost Father, as well as When You're Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living.
Follow Mark Matousek on Twitter: www.twitter.com/markmatousek