The News, As Reported By Andy Warhol

Sep 24, 2011


SCOTT SIMON, host: Tomorrow, the National Gallery of Art opens "Warhol: Headlines" an exhibit of the late artists' works depicting the news industry in America. Andy Warhol would recreate front pages of New York newspapers in the way he did Campbell's soup cans, occasionally adding a change or flourish.

One work is the wedding present he gave to Madonna when she married Sean Penn in 1985. It's a silkscreen collaboration with Keith Haring, featuring Madonna's reaction to magazines who ran unauthorized nude photos of her. The headline of Warhol's fictional New York Post reads: "Madonna: I'm Not Ashamed" overlaid with hundreds of Keith Haring signature action figures.

Could the real message be that President Reagan's denunciation of terrorism appears in much smaller type?

Andy Warhol thought that news was as familiar and saleable as a can of soup, and wondered why people complained about it.

I'm confused about who the news belongs to, he once said. I always have it in my head that if your name is in the news, then the news should be paying you, because it's your news and they're taking it and selling it as their product. But then they always say that they're helping you. And that's true too. But still, if people didn't give the news their news, and if everybody kept their news to themselves, the news wouldn't have any news. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.