While nearly everyone’s heard of Andy Warhol’s “Famous for 15 Minutes” line, the good folks at the Pomona College Museum of Art have gone all out and created something way beyond a mere exhibition to showcase the Prince of Pop Art’s obsession with celebrity (or pseudo-celebrity) culture. Not only does the “Famous For 15” show feature selections from a major gift by the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts—including an undated gelatin silver print of Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa and (our personal fave) a Polacolor image of Debbie Harry of Blondie—it’s accompanied by an online album so that you can tap your inner Peter Parker and submit your own cell phone camera images. Anyone who’s studied Warhol and his methods (photographing celebrities and quasi-celebrities that were part of New York’s social circles) recognizes how our widespread use of cell phone cameras is merely a modern echo of what Andy was doing all along: showing us that by merely taking photos and sharing those images (via cell phones, Facebook and social media) the subjects become instant celebrities—which itself undermines what the concept of fame is. Remember people asking what Kim Kardashian was famous for? Famous for being famous? Hey, Warhol had that concept down pat decades ago. The museum invites the public to perpetuate his concepts by submitting camera-phone photos to FamousFor15.CameraPhone@picasaweb.com. You can check out submissions (there were 75 images at press time) at http://picasaweb.google.com/FamousFor15.
“Famous For 15: From Andy Warhol to Your Camera-Phone” at Pomona College Museum of Art, 330 N. College Way, Claremont, (909) 621-8283; www.pomona.edu/museum. Thru April 11. Free.