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Andy Warhol’s Masturbation Metaphor

In a 1977 interview with Glenn O’Brien for the marijuana lifestyle magazine High Times, O’Brien asked Andy Warhol if his teachers recognized his early “natural talent.” “Something like that,” Warhol responded with his characteristic unconventionality, “unnatural talent.” Warhol’s “unnatural talent” quip alluded not only to his mass-produced, machine-like paintings of soup cans and silk screen portraits, but also to his sexual orientation — the “unnatural” life of a homosexual. Just as Warhol turned that verbal double play, art scholar Michael Maizels tries to touch those two bases of Warhol’s art in “Doing It Yourself: Machines, Masturbation, and Andy Warhol” in the Fall 2014 issue of Art Journal. For Maizels, the way that Warhol made art reflected the way Warhol lived his life as a homosexual male in late 20th century America. When we look at Warhol’s art, Maizels suggests, we should see not just a critique of commercialized society and its art, but also a critique of that same society’s sexual tolerance.

A Theologian of Renewal

With Easter and Passover on the minds of so many millions of Christians and Jews this weekend, so are the deeper themes of renewal, promise, and liberation that these religious […]

The Trouble with Kute Spelling

When I go to my favorite political websites these days I have to see “Chick Fil A” as one of the hot topics. The CEO’s against same-sex marriage, but he’s […]

564 – A Ghostly Billiard Game

Just before Rip Van Winkle falls into his thirty-year slumber, he encounters the ghostly spectacle of a handful of ancient Dutch colonials playing at ninepins, the thunder rolling across the […]

Should the Bamiyan Buddhas Be Rebuilt?

When I read the news that the Bamiyan Buddhas, the giant 6th century statues in Afghanistan destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, would not be rebuilt, I had mixed […]

Frontline: al-Qaeda in Yemen

Last night Frontline aired the film al-Qaeda in Yemen, which was reported by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad who writes for the Guardian and who, along with Declan Walsh when he was at […]