Stars & Guitars
The "Stars & Guitars" exhibition features works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Steve Kaufman, Mel Ramos, Kiki Kogelnik and other well-known Pop Art artists as well as rare guitars from the Infeld collection.
Pop Art moved the striking visual world of advertising and the mass media into the aesthetic focus. From bizarre to critical, artists delivered an imaginative interpretation of commercial products. It was not about a direct adoption of what was found in everyday life: The subjects were overdrawn, distorted, fragmented, endlessly duplicated and boosted to the point of absurdity. A unique iconography and visual language was created: recognizable, reduced, expressive.
The work of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), the most important representative of Pop Art, is characterized by a fascination for the appearance of people - for their self-dramatization, for the obscurity of their privacy. An example of this is the series "Ladies and Gentlemen" for which drag queens modeled. Doubly marginalized because of their skin color and their played out gender identity, they chose poses of dazzling sovereignty for the photographs that served as models for the silkscreens.
Warhol, who knew most of the greats of show business well, portrayed them personally and privately. His depictions of Mick Jagger and Marilyn Monroe have become symbolic figures for many generations, are anchored in the general consciousness and serve as projection surfaces for people all over the world to express their own wishes.
The art collector and string producer Peter Infeld was portrayed by the American artist Steve Kaufman (1960-2010) in 2002. Like his former teacher Andy Warhol, Steve Kaufman works with photos. He composes these before screen printing and completes them painterly with intensive layers of color.
Peter Infeld also knew personally the American pop master of the erotic act Mel Ramos (1935-2018). Painted in bright colors, his "Californian Venus" lolls through all the painter's creative phases. She is at once beauty queen, power woman, and goddess. In his depictions of advertising products and women's bodies, Ramos manages to convey a familiar warmth instead of a cold forced alliance between woman and commodity.
The sound of guitars accompanied the Pop Art era, some of which were already being played on Thomastik-Infeld strings back then. Peter Infeld and his wife Zdenka Infeld have personally met many important musicians.
Peter Infeld visited the musicians of the "Rolling Stones" in the USA. The British guitarist and composer Donovan played at Infeld House of Culture in Halbturn, Austria, in 2000. The American guitarist and singer George Benson visited Peter Infeld in Vienna in 2001. Zdenka Infeld met George Benson in Anaheim, California, in 2015.
The Infeld collection includes rare instruments from this period, such as a 1951 Fender Nocaster, and rounds off the "Stars & Guitars" exhibition.
The exhibition “Stars & Guitars” is a part of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project.