The Warhol Effect

Someone already coined the term, “The Warhol Effect,” to describe artwork similar to Andy Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe prints:


Set of iconic multi-colored photos of Marilyn Monroe by the artist, Andy Warhol


I use the term to mean something else. In order to achieve The Warhol Effect, an artist must create a piece of art that is either so unlike anything else that its merit can’t be judged relative to any existing standard or its meaning is so mysterious that it can’t be defined…

AND the piece of art must have been intentionally designed just outside the boundaries of comprehension for the express purpose of either actively misleading (or passively allowing) the viewer to assume that since they don’t understand the piece then it must be because the piece is too genius for them to understand…

when in reality the piece is meaningless aside from serving the purpose of feigning genius in order to earn the con artist undeserved wealth and recognition from easily manipulated fools who don’t have enough intellectual confidence to listen to common sense.

In other words, it’s the modern-day equivalent of The Emperor’s New Clothes…applied specifically to art.


“I’m tired of pretending like I understood the deeper meaning behind the paper bag in ‘American Beauty.’ Can you explain it to me?”

“I’m pretty sure they were just going for the Warhol Effect.”

“Ah, that makes sense.”


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