Long lost digital warhol art released

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Published:  April 28, 2014
Lucy Waddington

With a style all too familiar in contemporary digital/internet art, this intermixture of fine art and pixles, rendered by the infamous hand of Andy Warhol, have been discovered on (now obsolete) floppy disks — the results of the efforts of a dedicated group of computing experts, artists and museum professionals. The 12 experiments from 1985 were in response to an invitation to Warhol by Commodore to showcase the graphic capabilities of the company’s new Amiga 1000. At the time, Commodore were rivals to Apple’s increasingly popular Macintosh series, and engaged the artist, who was no stranger to mainstream television appearances and advertising jobs.

Warhol’s digital reinterpretation of his Campbell’s soup can work

Warhol’s digital reinterpretation of Boticelli’s Venus

This 8-bit discovery is another fantastic investigation of the cultural phenomenon articulated through an evolving medium. The collection of work includes a reinvention of Andre Boticelli’s Birth of Venus as well as digital interpretations of some of his own celebrated pieces. Infamously intrigued by mass commercial production and its influence on graphic communication, it’s no surprise that Warhol was eager to experiment with digital art.

The equipment Warhol used in 1985

Warhol’s digital portrait

A short piece of video footage shows Warhol “painting” Debbie Harry live at the product launch, the images themselves were thought to have been lost until now. “This is kind of thrilling,” says Warhol, as he uses a colour fill tool.

Warhol’s Debbie Harry portrait in progress

As an artist who was highly involved in the manual production of his work, attempting to manoeuvre a bulbous plastic mouse must have been such a novelty, something we rarely question today. These almost eery hallucinations of the future are undoubtedly enhanced by their discovery almost 30 years after their inception.

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