The Warhol EconomyBillee Howard
Andy Warhol’s famous prediction that in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes has come home in spades in our viral, reality TV driven era of engagement and now, has gone even a step further. Just as Andy foreshadowed when he said that good business is the best art, business is indeed not just business anymore, but has fused with culture and become the latest artistic movement. The world of today is driven by participatory events of mass individualism that engage us on an emotional and collective level, allowing us to express ourselves philosophically, creatively and artistically, and join together with others who share our passions and positions.
This emphasis on self expression and public exhibition, which is in fact, the opposite of cocooning, has created a Warhol economy where not only can everyone be famous for fifteen minutes, everyone can be an artist and create their own artistic community, based around brand.
Brands and the experiences they create have become art, and products have become canvases of expression. In the Warhol economy, we are no longer selling soda; we are selling an emotional experience, a vehicle for self-expression, and an opportunity to engage with others who can appreciate what we have created. The message and intent of the Warhol factory model finally has finally been realized. Art and business have merged, and will lead to a more artistic and creatively connected marketplace and a more democratized and globalized culture shaped by the many, and not just by the mighty few.
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