Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait (Fright Wig), 1986

Andy Warhol Self-Portrait, 1986

My in-laws, Ed and Bonnie, recently flew in to Columbus from their home in Long Island. They’ve grown to love Columbus, and each time they’re here my wife and I expose them to something new.

This visit, we went to the Wexner Center for the Arts to see Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms . While there, we ran into Wexner’s director, Sherri Geldin . Seeing Sherri was an unexpected treat and she shared extra background on Warhol that even this expansive exhibit couldn’t delve into, including Warhol’s fascination with Truman Capote .

One cannot help but be overwhelmed by such an intimate look inside this complex artist. Searching for his own identity, Warhol utilizes a wide range of media in his expression of social, political and cultural upheaval. I felt like a voyeur watching his home movies, reading his personal scribblings and viewing his sketches and photos. It’s as though Andy touches your shoulder and says, “Come with me, I’ll show you the good stuff.”

As Ed and Bonnie went through the exhibit, their eyes grew big at the site of the iconic Campbell Soup art, their faces wrinkled in amusement while reading Warhol’s writings, and they smiled warmly at the gentle sound of Warhol’s voice in his movies.

Lifetime New Yorkers, Ed and Bonnie are never shy about expressing their opinions. They wouldn’t rave about something unless they were truly moved by it, and they raved about Other Voices, Other Rooms . Their reaction to the exhibit was as expansive as the exhibit itself.

“He has many people in his head,” Bonnie said, and Sherri smiled and agreed. Bonnie remarked on how many times she had seen Warhol’s work in galleries in New York, but had never seen a collection like this one (Columbus is the only U.S. stop on this international tour).

Bonnie was nearly moved to tears imagining what Warhol might think if he knew how close to him we had become:

And I was reminded to never take Columbus treasures like the Wex for granted.