Last days of Pop Life at Tate Modern

If ever you haven’t visited yet this truly amazing exhibition at the Tate Modern, you only have one day left to do so or you’ll regret it forever! Pop Life, Art in a Material World concept rests upon Andy Warhol’s notorious provocation “Good business is the best art” and reconsiders the legacy of Pop Art through its major protagonists and its influence on the following generation of artists who used of the mass media to create their own ‘signature’ brands.

Starting with Andy Warhol’s late work, notably some works from the initially controversial series Retrospectives, the exhibition features artists such as Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami.

One of the highlights in my humble opinion was the reconstruction of Keith Haring’s Pop Shop (opened in 1986 on New York’s Lafayette Street). I could have stayed there all day – and night – long. Imagine a room all covered, from floor to ceiling with black and white Haring’s graffiti art, great loud music from the eighties, bright colours and funny items to buy everywhere… I was in heaven.

Copyright Tate Photography

Speaking of heaven, although in quite a different style, the exhibition also reconstructed Jeff Koon’s seldom reunited Made in Heaven, featuring the artist himself and immortalizing his union with former Italian porn star  and politician La Cicciolina through a series of photographs, paintings and sculptures.

Copyright Tate Photography

Other highlights include the gallery dedicated to the Young British Artists, named after the shows staged at the Saatchi gallery from 1992 onwards and who dominated British art in the nineties. The gallery presents the early works of Tracey Emin and Gavin Turk, as well as Damien Hirst’s Identical Twins performance, originally shown at Cologne ‘Unfair’ art fair in 1992 and featuring identical twins sitting beneath two identical spots of painting.

In short, tomorrow 17th January is the last day. Don’t miss the boat!

Laurie Guillem

Pop Life, Art in a Material World – 19th October 2009/17th January 2010 – Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

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