Similes: Vertigo, Velvet Underground, and Rape?

by TylerJ

I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning. – Andy Warhol


The symbol has become so identified with The Velvet Underground…that members of the public, and particularly those who listen to rock music, immediately recognize the banana design as the symbol of The Velvet Underground.” – Quoted from documents re: The Velvet Underground v. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Velvet Underground alleges that the AWF is getting rich at their expense by reproducing the famous VU banana image on iPhone covers (via: NY Post)


It is morally wrong for the artistry of our industry to use and abuse famous pieces of work to gain attention and applause for other than what they were intended.” – Actress Kim Novak, after discovering the film The Artist had licensed portions of the Vertigo score for its own use (via: Daily Mail)

Vertigo was released in 1958, Velvet Underground’s first album in 1967. It feels wrong when an artist tells you what a piece of artwork represents. It feels worse when people claiming to be speaking for the artist tell you what a piece of artwork represents.

I do know two things:

  1. When someone argues against a dead artist, the dead artist always wins.
  2. When someone argues for a dead artist, assume the dead artist disagrees.