This is an essay about the music scene in New York at the end of the sixties. I will be concentrate on the corporation between the legendary band the Velvet Underground and one of the most central men in Pop art, Andy Warhol.
The Velvet Underground, also called the Velvets, was the first rock`n`roll band that went on stage to provoke instead of entertain people. The artist Andy Warhol found this very interesting, and their work together, that lasted from 1965 to 1967, made both legendary. The most central product that came out of this was the album The Velvet Underground and Nico that later has been regarded by many pop-critics as one of the most important records in popular music history.
Under the influence of political, social and culture events, the atmosphere in the USA at the end of the sixties was in a transition phase. The Vietnam war was going on, the New Left organization and the hippies were coming up with alternative ideas of how society could be. Drugs were getting more and more popular for the young generation, and the conservative people were getting afraid of what was actually happening. So it was a time of great uncertanity in the USA.
All artist are products of their own time, but what I want to find out through this essay is to what extent The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol where grasping their own time. Did they reflect the society or where they ahead of their own time as many claim?
I want to specify that it is the white man`s culture I will concentrate upon, even though The Velvet Underground, especially Lou Reed, was inspired by black rhythm and blues music.
- Def: Pop Art:
- Art in which commonplace objects (such as comic strips, soup cans road signs and hamburgers) were used as subject matter and were often physically incorporated in their work.