When President Kennedy was shot that fall, I heard the news over the radio while I was alone painting in my studio. I don’t think I missed a stroke. I wanted to know what was going on out there, but that was the extent of my reaction. I’d been thrilled about having Kennedy as president; he was handsome, young, smart — but it didn’t bother me that much that he was dead. What bothered me was the way television and radio were programming everybody to feel so sad. It seemed like no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t get away from the thing.
In the News
Warhol's Flash Series features Teletypes ("news flashes") from the day of the Kennedy Assassination and images that explore how the event was covered by the media. Endlessly enthralled by celebrity, consumerism and advertising, Warhol depicts this event through the critical lens of news as commodity; even our most harrowing tragedies become banal and innocuous when made a headline and we, in turn, are made consumers of a narrative shaped by mass media. Warhol explored many of these visual motifs before and after the Flash series; he was obsessed with visual icons of American media and culture such as guns, violence, the discord of celebrity and the language and seduction of advertising.