Hey you guys, So I was at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art yesterday checking out the Andy Warhol and Chris Ware exhibits and a white-haired senior citizen in a wheelchair saw that there was an exhibit of comic strips and guilessly gushed to the silver-haired gent pushing her chair "Oh goody! I love cartoons!" She then proceeded to read a series of Ware's suicide-inducingly depressing strips aloud before becoming cognizant that Ware makes the kind of comic strips that make people cry rather than laugh. You could literally see her enthusiasm wither a little with each successive panel. "I guess you have to read the whole thing in order to figure out the story" she told her partner a little dispiritedly before moving on to less soul-crushing fare. I can't say Ware himself seems much more enthused about the exhibits. In his notes he all but apologizes for its existence, his career and the sum of his being. He takes an almost perverse joy in pointing out that the Jimmy Corrigan vinyl figure was the worst-selling toy its Japanese manufacturer ever produced. For folks in Chi-town I heartily recommend visiting the MCA soon. The Warhol exhibit in particular is a revelation. In a weird sort of way Warhol has become a victim of his own success. His images and ideas are such a part of contemporary pop-culture that it can be easy to overlook just how revolutionary and borderline heretical they must have seemed when they first unveiled. We're living in Warhol's world to such an extent that his work has itself become nearly as much a cliche as what he's critiquing. It's as if Warhol's intentionally plastic iconography has come full circle, going from consumer ephemera to pop-art back to consumer ephemera in just a few generations. But seeing Warhol's work in a museum reinforces just how profoundly he shaped contemporary pop culture. It's Warhol's world. We're just living in it. Anyone else seen the Ware or Warhol? Thoughts? Ideas? Bitter refutations? Bring it on.

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