January 5, 2017

Lessons I Never Thought I’d Learn from Andy Warhol.

Art holds messages and lessons that I can’t access any other way.

So for my birthday, I went to the Warhol.

The story that unfolded there was magical as I learned about this man and how similar some of his struggles are to myself and those around me.

Self-consciousness over appearance. 

Warhol was obsessed with how he looked. He had an intense beauty regimen and was rather sensitive about his body image. So much so, in fact, that he had elective plastic surgery on his nose. This struck close to home because I still struggle at times with body image issues. I wouldn’t say I go to the same degree as Warhol, but I understood his desire to put on a beautiful face for the public.

There are two ironies here:

One, Warhol found beauty everywhere else, but when he looked in the mirror, he was dissatisfied with what he saw.
The second is that true beauty is found within.

Persistence counts.

The man was stopless. He kept creating and trying new things. I have to say I really admire this attribute in Warhol. I’m a bit this way too. I’m still learning to care less about the opinions of others and this quote by Warhol helped:

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” 

Screw the box.

Warhol was a box challenger, a game changer. I absolutely adore this about him. People didn’t always get him, but he didn’t worry about it. He just kept going on the path that called to him—the path of art, which is anywhere and everywhere.

“The pop idea was that anybody could do anything. So naturally, we were all trying to do it all.” ~ Andy Warhol

The idea that people don’t belong in boxes and that we have nearly limitless options resonates with me deeply, especially as I’ve reformed myself as part of my spiritual journey. I shed old rules and old roles as they no longer fit me.

Not wanting to die forgotten.

Warhol’s one fear is that people would forget him. This truth hit me hard. I mean, the man was seriously f*cking talented and he was afraid people would forget him or not want him anymore. (This is part of what drove Warhol to keep creating.) He just wanted to be loved.

I think this is a nearly universal fear. At least, I have that fear. I don’t want to pass from this world without making a difference bigger than me, but as long as I keep on my path I will make a difference.

There were a lot of Warhol quotes that hit me hard with truth-bombs, but these are some of my favorites:

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.”

“The idea is not to live forever, it is to create something that will.”

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”

Thank you, Mr. Warhol. You’re not forgotten.




Author: Lindsay Lock

Images: Incase/Flickr; Author’s own

Editor: Travis May





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