December 31, 2018: There will be a funeral mass for Warhol star Patrick Fleming, today, Monday, December 31, 2018 at 10 AM in the Church of St Clare, 1244 Liberty St., Braintree Highlands. Interment Blue Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family sincerely requests that donations be made in Patrick's name to the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation, 1493 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02139. Comments can be left on Patrick's Boston Globe Legacy page.
His nephew, Declan Buckley, writes "Patrick died of heart failure December 27th. He’d been hospitalized for about 3 weeks. We were hoping to move him to rehabilitation, but on Christmas day he went into arrest and had to be revived twice. He spent his remaining days smiling and comfortable surrounded by his family." (DB to GC, 29 December 2018)
Declan will be doing the eulogy for the mass, which I will post on the site, afterwards.
Ed Hood lights Patrick Fleming's cigarette (right) in The Chelsea Girls
December 27, 2018: It is with great sadness that I have to report that Patrick Fleming, who starred in Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls, died in hospital on December 27, 2018. Details will be posted here later. R.I.P. to a real superstar - both on and off the screen. See Patrick Fleming.
December 25, 2018: Merry Christmas! xxg
December 24, 2018: One of the often repeated events of Andy Warhol's college life is the story about how he submitted one of his Nosepicker paintings to the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh exhibition and it was "rejected as offensive, though George Grosz, then on the show's jury publicly protested." (Donna De Salvo, "Andy Warhol: I Work Seven Days a Week," in Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again exh. cat., (Whitney Museum, 2018).
De Salvo's mention of the incident is probably the most recent one. It has been mentioned quite a few times in the past, but without a footnote saying where the information came from. De Salvo writes that the Grosz "publicly protested," that Warhol's painting wasn't included in the show, but in what way did he "publicly protest?" Is there a newspaper article about it or some sort of document in the archives of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh? Grosz was living in the U.S. at the time, although not in Pittsburgh, and there is no mention of Pittsburgh in his autobiography or even in the biography that the Whitney produced for their Grosz exhibition in 1954. There's no reason they should have mentioned Warhol because he was yet to gain attention as an artist, but there is also no mention of George Grosz in Pittsburgh.
There is a mention of the event in Bennard B. Perlman's essay on Warhol's early years that appeared in the inaugural publication of the Warhol Museum, but Mr. Perlman begins his account of Grosz' defence of the painting with "According to hearsay..." He doesn't indicate who was behind the "hearsay." (See Bennard B. Perlman, "The Education of Andy Warhol," in The Andy Warhol Museum (NY: Distributed Art Publishers, 1994).
If anybody has any documentary proof that Grosz was part of the jury that decided which paintings would be included in the exhibition and that he defended Warhol's work, can you please let me know? Thank you. You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warhol Portrait Athletic Taper Jeans by Calvin Klein - Printed artwork: Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, c. 1977 ©/®/™ The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
December 23, 2018: Refinery29 is reporting that "On Friday, Calvin Klein, Inc. and its first-ever chief creative officer, Raf Simons, announced that they would be parting ways — effective immediately."
Simons clothing designs for the company were inspired by Andy Warhol, but would you want to be seen walking down the streets of New York wearing a pair of blue-rinsed, "athletic taper jeans" with a large, bright white, rectangular Andy Warhol self-portrait on your ass? I wonder how flattering the self-portrait is (or isn't) in motion.
Calvin Klein is a sponsor of the Warhol exhibition at the Whitney Museum which has recently attracted a lot of attention after one of the Whitney's Vice-Chairs defended being the CEO of the company that supplied the tear gas that was used against asylum seekers and their children trying to get into the U.S. (see Carter Ratcliff's comments below).
Front cover of Warhol by Carter Ratcliff (Modern Masters)
December 16, 2018: Carter Ratcliff, who has written extensively on Andy Warhol and is the author of Andy Warhol Portraits (Phaidon, 2007) and Andy Warhol (Modern Masters Series) (Abbeville Press, 1983) has entered the fray concerning the Whitney Museum's Vice Chair unwillingness to step down, given that he is CEO of the company that sold the tear gas that was used against asylum seekers to the U.S. in a scathing article in Hyperallergic.
Nobody is naive about the amount of money that is required to run large institutions like the Whitney, but at what point do you draw the line? At what point does the money you accept become a moral decision? This isn't about art. It's about money. And morals. Would the Andy Warhol retrospective have gone ahead without Kanders' support? Yes. Would it have gone ahead without Kanders on the Board? Yes. Then why he is there? Kanders' excuse for the gassing of the immigrants seems to be (to paraphrase) that his company just makes the stuff and what people do with it is up to them. The manufacturers of Zyklon B offered a similar excuse during World War II. Tear gas may be less lethal but the principle is the same. Are Latinos less "human" than other nationalities who have sought asylum in the U.S.? Andy Warhol's parents were immigrants. So was Jonas Mekas.
The seller of tear gas is responsible for how it used because if it wasn't sold, it wouldn't be used. And it wasn't the first time it was used. The Miami New Times reports: "Safariland's products were also infamously used on American protesters during the 2015 Ferguson, Missouri, riots and the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. (One Standing Rock protester sued Defense Technology after she says one of the company's flashbang grenades nearly blew off her hand.)" Remember how upset everyone was in regard to the pipeline protests? Yet, the Whitney continues to defend Mr. Kanders. Website TYT details how Kanders' company has a "history of controversy."
Andy Warhol's art was often the art of protest. He didn't paint the Birmingham Race Riots or the Electric Chairs because he was in favour of them. When the term "Business Art" was used, it was used derogatorily. He refers to his other art - for instance, the art he produced with Basquiat - as "real" art. I can't think of any other artist as successful as Warhol, who has been more political. "Business Art" was a term invented in a book he didn't write which shares the name of this exhibition. Warhol would have been against using tear gas on immigrants, just as he was against using dogs on Birmingham race demonstrators.
It's clear that the Whitney is using the exhibition to promote membership of the museum. Many of the talks and special events are members only events, but you don't have to opt for an auto-renewal membership and you can cancel your auto-renewal if you have joined under that basis by ringing the museum. If you haven't seen the exhibition yet, wait until it shows at the San Francisco Museum of Art (November 12, 2018 - March 31, 2019); or the Art Institute of Chicago (October 20, 2019 - January 26, 2020).
If you do attend any of the talks at the Whitney in conjunction with the show, make sure you bring up the subject of moral responsibility. And if you are speaking at one of these talks, let your views be known.
Candy Darling on her Deathbed, 1973
Photographer: Peter Hujar, Gelatin Silver Print, 14 3/4 by 14 3/4 in., Collection of Ronay and Richard Menschel, ©Peter Hujar, LLC, courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
December 15, 2019: Exhibitions exploring the work of John Waters and the photographer Peter Hujar will open at the Wexner on February 2, 2019. Both shows,"John Waters: Indecent Exposure" and "Peter Hujar: Speed of Life" run until April 28, 2019.
Candy Darling, pictured above on her deathbed, appeared in Flesh and Women in Revolt which were often advertised as Andy Warhol films but were actually directed by Paul Morrissey. (See J. Hoberman's comments in G. Comenas, Women in Revolt (2016).)