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Andy Warhol Really, Really Loved Christmas

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Christie's

Andy Warhol’s fondness for Campbell’s Soup cans is well documented. Less well known but equally ardent was his love of the holiday season. Yes, from poinsettias to Santa hats, the enigmatic artist who promised we’d all have our 15 minutes of fame spent much of the 1950s working as a commercial illustrator specializing in blotted line drawings, creating everything from shoe advertisements to greeting cards.

This holiday season, Christie’s—that world-famous purveyor of fine art for nearly 250 years—is spreading Warhol’s Christmas spirit with two unique events, including “Warholiday,” a pop-up event at the San Francisco Mulberry Store, which ran through December 19th. The yuletide showcase featured 36 works by the late, great artist, some of them never-before-seen and all of them for sale (if you had between $2000 and $30,000 to shell out on Polaroids of Cabbage Patch Kid dolls).

“Warholiday” follows hot on the heels of “A Christmas Thing,” an online-only auction from Christie’s that just concluded and featured 100 original photos, prints, and drawings from the master of Pop Art. Proceeds from the auction benefitted The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, an organization dedicated to “the advancement of the visual arts” (as stipulated in Warhol’s will) and kind enough to share a few of Warhol’s Christmas pieces for your art-gazing pleasure.

WREATH: Andy Warhol, Wreath, ink and watercolor on paper, Drawn circa 1956 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

SANTA CLAUS: Andy Warhol, Santa Claus, unique polaroid print, Executed in 1981 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

CHRISTMAS TREE: Andy Warhol, Christmas Tree, ink, tempera and collage on paper, Drawn circa 1958 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

POINSETTIAS: Poinsettias, screenprint in colors on paper, from an edition of unknown size, executed in 1983 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT: Christmas Ornament, ink and Dr. Martin's Aniline Dye on paper, drawn circa 1957 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

CHRISTMAS TREE 2: Christmas Tree, offset lithograph with gold leaf on folded paper, from an edition of unknown size, executed circa 1957 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

GEE: Gee, Merrie Shoes, offset lithograph with hand-coloring, on laid paper, from an edition of unknown size, executed in 1956 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

CHRISTMAS FAIRY: Christmas Fairy "Merry Christmas to You," ink on paper, drawn circa 1954. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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