FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla
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Сollaborating with the Andy Warhol Museum, the Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla is hosting the exhibition devoted to Andy Warhol, the most renowned Pop Art artist. The show titled FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla is being held in Saudi Arabia for the first time. Curated by Patrick Moore, director of the Museum, it showcases some of the artist’s most recognisable art pieces.

The main focus of the exhibition is on the notion of fame as a crucial part of Warhol’s life. Growing up in industrial Pittsburgh, he was fascinated with Hollywood glamour and dreamed of belonging to that elite world. A major component of his art career are the paintings and prints he made of celebrities — actors, sports legends, and musicians: Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali, Dolly Parton, Judy Garland, and Jackie Kennedy, to name a few. These artworks are displayed in the FAME exhibition.

The show also features Warhol’s black-and-white “screen tests”, filmed portraits of counterculture icons from the 1960s: Jane Holzer, Bob Dylan, Dennis Hopper, Salvador Dalí, and others. There are also wallpaper designed by Warhol (made from his own imagery) and his Silver Clouds, an immersive installation which consists of metallic balloons. Besides, visitors can have a look at archival photos including Hollywood publicity ones and Polaroid portraits the artist made in his studio and later used as reference images.

Andy Warhol, Silver Clouds. An installation view at Andy Warhol Museum, 2015. Photo: Abby Warhola

The exhibition not only explores Warhol’s fixation on notability and stardom, but also lets us spot parallels between his reflections on society and contemporary culture. Today, we may find one of his most famous quotes “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” more than relevant, considering how our experience of the world is being transformed by new technologies and social media.

FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla will end on May 14, 2023. To learn more, please visit the event’s official web page.

About the venue

The Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, is situated close to the country’s first UNESCO world heritage site Al-Hijra. Designer Florian Boje and architect Massino Fogliati are behind this impressive project. Built by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), Maraya (“mirror” in Arabic) comprises a 100 x 100 x 26 m cuboid steel frame covered with mirrors (9, 740 sqm in total). This way, the building which reminds one of a mirage perfectly blends into the surrounding desert landscape. According to Guinness World Records, Maraya is the world’s largest mirrored building.

The venue’s main auditorium houses 500 seats and five boxes able to fit up to 60 more people. Behind the stage, an 800 sqm retractable window can be opened. Among the other facilities are a roof terrace, a conference center, an exhibition space, and a restaurant.

If you’re interested in extraordinary architecture, you might enjoy reading our article about the New Headquarters of the BEEAH Group in Sharjah, the UAE.