Pretty much everyone is familiar with one of Warhol’s most famous quotes about how in the future we’d all be famous for 15 minutes. I think he’s mostly right, in the sense that the ability to upload into internet immortality thousands of bathroom mirror selfies and video rants and responses has greatly democratized pop culture, I do think that his estimate of 15 minutes might have been a bit high, as this curve shows. The image which inspired this post is a pasteup on a small alley just off my street in Gràcia, which seems to be a modified version of this photo of Warhol. I like to imagine that Warhol would have been rather pleased with himself, as his prediction has come true tenfold and (mostly) pleased with the fact that the ability to immortalize oneself and possibly experience the fleeting excitement of viral fame has become accessible to the smartphoned masses. Why do I say mostly? Well, I just think of my own impressions of the state of things. On one hand, I think it truly is revolutionary that anyone can become famous nowadays. On the other, I’ve become more than tired of looking at the artistically overfiltered images of Starbucks beverages and cracks in the pavement which make up a lot of the visual chatter in any given flickr or instagram feed. Thankfully, unlike the days when I had to sit through 5 carousels of slides my aunt and uncle’s Carribean cruise or 6 minute commercial breaks, in the world of the internet I can skip ahead or skip altogether.
The other images included in this post are of other famous faces only one of which is still alive, that of Gwen Stefani. One thing they do have in common is that they were all able to surpass Warhol’s 15-minute mark.