AP Photography students mimic Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg


Senior Ashley Larson hangs up her “Warhol” piece in the display case outside of the photo classroom with those of her classmates.

Michaela Gawley, Staff Writer

If you have walked through the lobby recently, you probably noticed new AP Photography students’ artwork in the glass display case.  Photography teachers Ms. Kris Murphy and Ms. Erica Cryer’s AP classes worked with various mediums to create pieces influenced by the Pop Art movement on the 1960s.

In October, the classes went on a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see two exhibits that would hopefully help them find inspiration for their current projects.  The first exhibit, “After Warhol,” was on Andy Warhol and the effect his art had on the Pop Art movement.  The students then viewed an exhibit called “Faking It: Photography before Photoshop,” that showcased works of photography created by layering and combining a number of different photographs, giving them an idea of how artistic editing was done before the advent of photo editing software like Photoshop.

“Ms. Cryer and I thought that this would be an amazing opportunity to explore Pop Art and the process of photo transfer,” said Ms. Murphy.

The photo transfer process, which students have been practicing in the style of Warhol, is different from working in photoshop since it is time consuming, unpredictable, and requires a great deal of trial and error.  The photo transfer process was partially inspired by a documentary in which scientists took MRIs of artists who worked with their hands, as opposed to working with a screen, and discovered that artists working with their hands were much more engaged.

“The project we are doing in Photo is definitely something different. I am no expert on Warhol, but I learned a lot about his style.  His bright senses of color and repetition are things that many young artists can look at for inspiration and self-expression,” said junior Bomin Choi.

Students also studied the work of Robert Rauschenberg to further their understanding of the Pop Art movement.  The students are learning about consumerism and contemporary culture.  Ms. Murphy’s class saw the film Never Sorry by Ai Wei Wei, a Chinese artist who fights social injustice through artwork.

“I showed the film not only to review Warhol’s style, but to inspire my students when they are trying to figure out their own concentration projects.  The students are also focusing on incorporating the design elements of unity and variety which are often found in Warhol’s work into their own work,” said Ms. Murphy.

One of the techniques that the students are using to create unity in their compositions is the repetition of images, a design element that is typically used in Photoshop.  This is allowing them to try the techniques that they viewed in the exhibit.

“The students are creating images that relate to the pop movement and also to their personal lives,” said Ms. Cryer.