There's Always Money in the Banana (Stand)

7:00 AM

Andy Warhol, Banana, 1966

The line, “There is always money in the banana stand,” is repeated throughout the entirety of the show Arrested Development. It becomes a staple, a repeatable tagline of the show. The saying is plastered on merchandise for adoring fans - heck, even I have a banana stand shirt. People associate the imagery with the show, just like the familiar Andy Warhol imagery of soup cans and celebrities. Warhol considered these images iconic in 20th century America, and now his images have become iconic themselves. That’s the thing about icons: they sell. Just like my Bluth’s Frozen Banana shirt, people ate up Warhol’s diptychs of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s Soup (no pun intended).

In terms of monetary value, Warhol had an incredibly successful career making prints of these iconic American figures. People loved him, and he consistently had buyers and museums pining after his work. However, in his later work, critics called him “superficial” and “commercial.” They found no significance in his art other than his desire to sell the pieces.

Despite the criticism, Warhol didn’t exactly sell out. He started out producing holistically American art, and his life mirrored the fundamental American values that we still see today: money is everything. That’s probably why Warhol replicated the dollar sign over 100 times in a series. And he wasn’t shy about his love of money, having had both the experience of coming from a poor family and being propelled into a fabulously rich lifestyle. This was the America that Warhol lived - poor industrial families and plastic Hollywood superstars, soup cans and magazine covers.

Andy Warhol will always be remembered as the artist of American pop culture. He has become iconic in ways Lindsay Bluth can only dream of.

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