Cover for CRESAP: Pop Trickster Fool: Warhol Performs Naivete. Click for larger image

Pop Trickster Fool

Warhol Performs Naivete

Analyzing Warhol's persona as revolutionary performance art

What Andy Warhol didn't know--or pretended not to know--changed history. He habitually adopted the guise of a fool in public, which made it all the harder to grasp what he was getting at with his pop paintings and deadpan films. By making his own apparent lack of competence and intelligence into an elaborate ruse, he became a figure without precedent: a man whose self-conscious naivete has had truly revolutionary impact.

With poise, wit, and exacting intelligence, Kelly M. Cresap performs a nearly impossible task: accounting for the far-ranging implications of Warhol's sustained performance as a naif. This book is as much for those who despise Warhol as those who admire him. Among the offerings here is a vigorous account of the search for Warhol's brain; a polemic on camp taste; and a unique town-hall forum representing four decades of intense debate about the artist. Readers will find an engaging blend of art and literature, popular culture and mythology, as well as timely reflections on postmodernism, queer identity politics, and the nature of jokes and performance.

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