Jeff Koons, Virgil Abloh and Andy Cohen Discuss Andy Warhol As The Original Influencer

GARAGE presents an exclusive look at a new Whitney Museum video series devoted to the Pop artist's legacy.

by Emma Specter
Nov 5 2018, 7:08pm

“A computer would be a very qualified boss,” reality TV host Andy Cohen reads aloud from The Philosophy of Andy Warhol in the first episode of the Whitney Museum’s new “Whitney x Warhol” video series. “He's predicting AI!”

Andy Warhol’s visionary viewpoint is just one of the topics up for discussion in the video series’s first episode, which features everyone from Jeff Koons to Virgil Abloh to Deborah Kass discussing the Pop art founding father in advance of the Whitney’s upcoming exhibition of his work. “This video is groundbreaking for us in that we’re trying to connect one of our exhibitions to a much broader range of figures than normal, which makes perfect sense given Warhol’s range of influence,” Whitney chief curator Scott Rothkopf told GARAGE on Monday.

“One thing you’ll see in the video is that the time feels right for Warhol—although he seems ubiquitous in some respects, he hasn’t had a major exhibition in his hometown for nearly 30 years,” said Rothkopf, noting that the inspiration for the show came almost entirely from exhibition curator Donna De Salvo, who knew Warhol personally in the 1980s. “Warhol is sort of the canary in the coal mine for social and cultural conditions we’ve entered into. He really understood the relationship between art, money, celebrity, and the media, and his sense of how people’s desire to become famous drives them is something we see now in everyone from the biggest movie stars to the youngest users of Facebook,” said Rothkopf.

With Election Day taking place on the day of the Warhol exhibition’s press preview, Warhol’s political allegiances are at top of mind: “Even though Warhol’s work could seem apolitical in its refusal to judge or in its embrace of capitalism, he often did pitch in for democratic candidates, from Kennedy to McGovern,” said Rothopf. “As a child of immigrants who was friends with people from disadvantaged communities—people of color, queer people—Warhol did have a politics of supporting people who weren’t always supported by society.”

Virgil Abloh
Pop Art
Jeff Koons
whitney museum