As I sauntered through the halls of Villa Fiorentino and admired the world famous art lining the walls, I couldn’t believe it was real life.
The Andy Warhol exhibition “Life, Pop & Rock” was inspiring, unique, and, personally, something I never expected to see in Sorrento (but I am so glad I did!).
Andy Warhol has been famously said to be the father of Pop Art and is known mostly for his influence in the Pop Art Movement.
A quote that has always stuck with me is that art should be consumed.
I always thought that I understood that statement, but I don’t think I really did until coming to Italy, where art lines the streets I walk everyday.
Art is everywhere here. It’s in the architecture, the views that I see everytime I open my window, the music being sung on side streets every evening.
There was something so different walking around Villa Fiorentino and being surrounded by collections that so heavily defined a whole art movement.
If I had to guess why the feelings were so much more intense with this exhibition, a major part is obviously the art itself and what was being displayed, but also, Sorrento.
Andy Warhol’s art reminds me of big cities and a sort of pop/punk lifestyle, not exactly what you think when you picture Sorrento.
But the duality of that was almost as striking as the assemblage.
Sorrento's Artistic Duality
Sorrento feels like a breath of fresh air; it welcomes you and makes you feel at home even if you’re in a foreign country you’ve never been to before.
So seeing art that was, at the time it was made, bold and daring, in a place so light and soothing, you get an overwhelming sense of appreciation for different facets of life.
People that enjoy the hustle and bustle of a big city can come to a place such as Sorrento and be enthralled by its beauty, while also recognizing a part of themselves in an art exhibition happening just up the street!
Just like someone that has never cared to read into the history of art and the different eras can walk into an exhibition and feel like a piece of work represents a specific time in their life that they couldn’t quite express themselves.
Understanding a New Perspective
While walking through the different rooms, there were multiple other people there at the same time.
A group of middle-aged women stuck together the entire time and spoke Italian to one another at each new piece they passed.
At the same time, a couple separated once they entered a room, to then reunite when they were ready to head to the next one, and they spoke to each other in French.
I was alone, but there was no feeling of isolation within me.
After I returned home that day, I found myself stuck on the notion that I was in a space with multiple people, who spoke different languages, but that we all were there together admiring everything in the same way.
It was comforting in a way, to know that even though I might not have understood the exact words this person was saying to their companion next to them, I was experiencing similar emotions, because art has the power to connect us in such a way.
So, when I thought again about the quote that “art should be consumed”, I felt like I finally understood!
The True Meaning of Consuming Art
It doesn’t mean that it needs to be bought and sold for ridiculous amounts of money, or that we all have to compete with each other because someone knows more about this time period in art than the next person.
It means that there is something to be gained from art, for everyone, and that it’s different for everyone.
We can all feel something and be inspired, even if we can’t even communicate it with words out loud because of a language barrier.
Andy Warhol's Enduring Impact
Andy Warhol changed what art meant for people and how it could be made.
He is a defining character in one of the biggest art movements in history, and his work is still bringing people together today.
I highly recommend paying a visit to “Life, Pop & Rock” at Villa Fiorentino if you haven’t yet.
It goes until October 15, 2023, and this is something you don’t want to miss!