Genius is a heavy word that I think is applied best to scientists and people who do things that actually change reality rather than express emotion. That's not to say that Beethoven wasn't a genius, but he did a lot of technical things as well. In the words of Socrates: "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." In the early 1960's, abstract art was king. It had its origins in surrealism, and none of it had any real connections with reality. The importance of these paintings was the emotion behind it, the kind of escapism quality. Andy Warhol came along in the early 1960's with frank, almost newspaper-like pictures of ordinary objects colored over. It was almost a creation of a factory (it was actually, The Factory), and the emotion wasn't so apparent. It seemed to reflect the culture, and us. More than this though, they were Iconic: they were images that stuck deep inside long after you first saw them. Their impression was far more artistic than it'd sound on paper, or online, or from word of mouth. From his original Campbell Soup Cans and Marilyn's and his early '60s art, to his transition to "underground" movies in the mid-'60s and the length, and the frankness of them, the "reality" they just showed, to his movies, he was always moving forward by doing things in a natural way, and has influenced modern day culture incalculably.
Sometimes, genius is wrapped up in appealing to the masses in a new way. Andy Warhol was certainly able to do that. Perhaps it doesn't make sense to everyone, but it did have a mass appeal to people that were interested in art at the time, and that was genius on his part.
Andy Warhol truly is a genius. He had such an incredible effect on culture that he managed to turn everyday objects into art. He revolutionized culture. I don't mean to say that he's better than Newton, but if Newton was never born there probably would've been someone else discovering gravity. We might never have Warhol's level of genius ever again.
Yes, I believe Andy Warhol was a genius. He had an immensely creative talent and did so many things with it. He created art that was very innovative for its day and is still admired by many people around the world. His creative genius and unusual approach makes him still relevant today.
Andy Warhol was not a genius. He was not a craftsman and his body of work demonstrates little to no artistic skill (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.). That said, he did not seem to concern himself with technical aspects of visual arts and, therefore, should not be judged on his technique. Because he did not concern himself with the development of technical skills, he should only be judged for his ideas. On that front, he did come up with an unusually striking approach to print making. Unfortunately, he repeated this process over and over developing little else throughout his career. He was brilliant at the art of persuasion, however. He convinced the public to worship and financially support him.
Andy Warhol could hardly draw a straight line. He was a wonderful graphic artist who had the uncanny ability to take everyday objects and turn them into icons of Western culture, or take icons of culture and turn them into everyday objects. That was the thought behind his famous "Fifteen minutes of fame comment". His films were beyond tedious, his "paintings" completely derivative, and proudly so. If he had any genius, it was in his ability to make money, not art.
If you stare at something long enough, it becomes art. It's interesting that people are so enticed by a painting of a Campbell's Soup Can. "It represents industrialism!" "It represents the futility of war!"
Nobody considers that Warhol was just hungry! Maybe we're all geniuses.
Oh, I think I'll paint a cheeseburger... "HOLY CRAP CRACKERS!! This...Is...Art! It reeks of yearning, of nostalgia!" "No, you fool! It clearly demonstrates that all life is precious."
Andy Warhol was an outstanding artist, but I don't know that he should be labeled as a genius. When I think of geniuses I think of Isaac Newton, Einstein, and da Vinci. I do not believe that Warhol made significant enough contributions to really be considered on the same level as those men.