Art Explained, Warhol and Colville: CBC Retrobites

CBC's Retrobites continues to intrigue with their periodic release of vintage interviews and insights into the lives of artists, musicians, and filmmakers. In the past two weeks, two clips caught my attention in particular. The first is a rare look inside Andy Warhol's Factory in the mid-1960's as he produces prints and answers questions about Pop Art. Interestingly, his agent seems to do most of the talking and will remind many of you of the more famous Brillo Box interviews that typify Warhol's deadpan approach to answering questions about his art production.

The second clip is from an artist closer to home, Canadian painter Alex Colville. He is perhaps best known for his hyper-realist paintings that attempt to capture aspects of Canadian life through portraiture and a more straight forward approach to modern figurative painting. Set in juxtaposition, we can see the two clips (filmed only two years apart) in a kind of productive tension, illustrating the critical differences emerging in the 1960's between a new art-making sensibility that seems less interested in foregrounding artist motivation and intention, and the more traditional approach to an artist interview where the artist speaks directly to his or her own work. Notice too the stakes involved with the discourse and emphasis on seeing and understanding developed around Warhol's and Colville's art practices through these brief glimpses. Fascinating!