Saturday, April 16, 2011

Andy Warhol Sighting in Union Square

Andy Warhol, famous artist, filmmaker, and sycophant returns to New York's centralized Union Square in sculpture form as a public art project by artist, Rob Pruitt. He now stands at the same juncture where he once gave out copies of Interview Magazine and just steps away from where his famous (or infamous) Factory was located on the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West. The sculpture depicts Andy with large, owl-like glasses, an ever-present Polaroid camera swinging from his neck, and a Bloomingdale's shopping bag (medium) all encased in a ghostly Mylar patina. He's on view through October 2, 2011.

I'm in New York now partly because of Andy Warhol. My love for this city started as a slow burn in the early 1980s as I thumbed through Interview Magazine. Its pages chronicled the hazy accounts of gallivanting of stars like Grace Jones, Brooke Shields, Debbie Harry, and Keith Haring. They wore gold lamé catsuits with matching metallic roller skates. They hung out at Studio 54, Palladium, Cedar Bar, and Max’s Kansas City. I loved it all, the fashions, the parties, the artsy people who all appeared to be having the time of their lives. I bought into the dream and fantasy of being an artist in New York. Andy was in the center of it all, and I wanted to be part of that art scene more than anything. New York sure has changed, but at the time, I felt like I was missing out because of my age. While most of my friends were at the mall or starting to date, I sat alone in my Victorian doily-covered room in southern New Jersey dreaming of the big city...
Below, is a "living sculpture" of Andy's famous Mylar pillows that still quietly float in a room in his Pittsburgh Museum.

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