Soup in the Mail
Yesterday in the mail, Julia received these 3 cans of soup from our artist friends George Singley and Yola Shashaty from NYC. It was a late Christmas gift. What a funny gift you say, for an eight year old? But our friends think outside the box - Julia loved the bright colors although she wished it was "chicken noodle." I was happy because it has "show and tell" potential which is always a weekly stretch for me.
How appropriate that the soup arrived on the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol's death. Before Andy Warhol became famous for "pop art" he worked as a very successful graphic designer and illustrator. His technical skill as an illlustrator was amazing. It seems he did very well financially and was incredibly sought after for his illustrations. Just recently his earlier work has been featured on cards, calendars and more. For Christmas, Julia bought me an Andy Warhol "shoe" calendar. The girl has got razor sharp shopping skills telling her dad that Mommy just had to have this. It is a really cheerful and glittery calendar and I love the fact that she picked it out specially for me.
Last fall, Julia and I watched two night special on PBS about Andy Warhol on (as I recall) American Experience. It was fascinating to see where he came from (Pittsburgh immigrant family) and where his talents took him (world wide fame). Although perhaps things got out of control (it was the times), he had such talent --- movie making, silk-screening... the list goes on and on. Recently at the local Brattleboro Museum of Art, there was a great Warhol show that we visited a couple times.
Our recent fascination with Andy has been fueled by a kid's book called Uncle Andy's which I bought for Julia. It is written and illustrated by his nephew James Warhola and it chronicles the trips that James and his six brothers and sisters, mom and dad took to visit Uncle Andy in the big city of NY. The memories that the man had are wonderful as are his colorful paintings. It's amazing how much positive influence an older aunt, uncle or friend can have on a young child. James turned his talents and his uncle's encouragement into his own career as a children's book illustrator. Wouldn't Uncle Andy be proud?