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July 2009
(to June 2009)

Mink Stole, Anton Perich, Taylor Mead, Michael Musto
at International CringeFest '09 in New York

candy darling and taylor mead

Candy Darling and Taylor Mead in Candy & Daddy

John Waters' superstar, Mink Stole, will be honored at CringeFest '09 this year with an Honorary Golden Pineapple on July 24, 2009. Other award winners include the Village Voice columnist Michael Musto and Warhol star Taylor Mead. Mead and filmmaker Anton Perich will also be on hand on July 26 at a screening of Perich's film Candy & Daddy, starring Candy Darling and Mead.

The awards ceremony will be part of the Rags 'n Riches benefit for the outreach program of NY Artists Unlimited, headed by Melba LaRose who played the role of Nola Noonan in the original production of the Jackie Curtis's play, Glamour, Glory & Gold - the Life and Legend of Nola Noonan, Goddess and Star. The Warholstars interview with LaRose can be found here.

Rags 'n Riches also includes a silent auction, currently on the internet and continuing through the party in the Producers' Club Lounge after the Pineapple awards. Items being auctioned include "Coffee with...Ginger!" (Coffee with actress/singer Tina Louise from Gilligan's Island) and "Coffee with... Richard Pryor Jr." (son of Richard/brother of Rain) in addition to items like an Ipod donated and transcribed by Yoko Ono, 3 movie posters signed and donated by John Waters and various other outings, artwork and autographed books and photos. To get on the auction mailing list contact info@nyartists.org.

For a schedule of the International CringeFest, running from July 20 - August 9, 2009, and ticket information, go to: http://nyartists.org/festivals.html.

Ray Johnson Image Galleries on the Raven Row site

ray johnson art

Raven Row in London, which hosted the "Ray Johnson Please Add to & Return" exhibition, has put up an large selection of his moticos, collages and mailings in an online gallery on their website. The gallery can be found by going to http://www.ravenrow.org/exhibition/rayjohnson/ and clicking on one of the "Image galleries" on the upper right-hand side of the page.

ray johnson and andy warhol

Photo: Billy Name
(Photo currently on exhibit in the Ray Johnson show at the Feigen Gallery)

Johnson (pictured above assisting Warhol on Jill Johnston (Dancing)) was a friend of Warhol's and a 'friend of Dorothy' as well - Dorothy Podber who shot some of Andy Warhol's Marilyns (inadvertently increasing their value considerably) and who is referenced in some of Johnson's works. What can be said about Ray Johnson that hasn't been said before? Referred to as a Fluxus artist by some, a Pop artist by others, his collages have been compared to Robert Rauschenberg's Combines by Donna de Salvo and he has been referred to as "one of the great chroniclers of the post 1946 Mass Age" by Michael Bracewell. Nick Cernovitch, co-founder of Diane di Prima's New York Poets Theater, called him a "reincarnated Buddha."

Ray's fascination with death was evidenced by his fascination with Warhol stars who died in tragic circumstances - Candy Darling, Andrea Feldman and Jackie Curtis - all of whom were referenced in Johnson's work at one time or another. Johnson, himself, committed suicide in 1995 by swimming out to sea and never returning - not unlike factoryite Danny Williams who had done the same in 1966 off the coast of New England. (See deaths of Candy Darling, Andrea Feldman, Jackie Curtis and Danny Williams) One project that Ray was working on during his life was "The Book about Death" - a series of "multilithoed" sheets by Johnson that were recently reproduced in a facsimile edition by the art theorist William S. Wilson.

Yet, despite the links to death in his art, Ray Johnson was remembered for his exuberance in life. Billy Name recalls that "... walking down the street with Ray Johnson... it becomes alive. The fire hydrants are artistically, aesthetically alive all of a sudden and part of your world and engaging with you... and all of a sudden you see the world as this wonderful, delightful, joyful, playful place and it doesn't stop... like it's something you get when you're with Ray and then you go away and say 'gee I oughta see Ray again and get that feeling.'"

From November 6, 2009 to April 1, 2010, an exhibition of Johnson's work will be taking place alongside another of his friends - the composer John Cage - at the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Details on the MACBA site at: http://www.macba.cat/controller.php?p_action=show_page&pagina_id=52&inst_id=26358.

The main page of the Raven Row gallery, with details of their current exhibition, can be found at:
http://www.ravenrow.org.

Merce Cunningham - Sounddance

Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham
(from Episode 007 of "Mondays with Merce")

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company will be performing Sounddance - designed originally by Warhol star Mark Lancaster - at Jacob's Pillow in Massachusetts from July 22 - July 26, 2009. Details on the Merce Cunningham website at: http://www.merce.org/schedule.html.

Warhol's 1963 silkscreens of Cunningham are also included in the current "Warhol Live" exhibition at The Warhol museum. The exhibition catalogue features a section on Warhol and Cunningham - "Warhol the Choreographer: Encounters with Merce Cunningham." In addition to the 1963 silkscreens Warhol also did later prints of Cunningham and the artist's Silver Clouds were part of the set design for a Cunningham dance piece - Rainforest - performed in 1968.

Mark Lancaster (Batman Dracula, Kiss, Couch):

"In 1973, Merce Cunningham was commissioned to make a dance for the Paris Opera Ballet, for the Festival d'Automne, by Michel Guy, who was later Minister of Culture. Jasper [Johns] agreed to design it and made some sketches for set and costumes, and asked me if I would go to Paris to supervise the work and then he would come for the performance... so I was officially the Assistant to the Designer and went with Merce and then John Cage, who was making the music, to Paris for about two months... Back in New York, I started running the lights for the company's studio performances in New York. I had thought the lighting too elaborate and confusing, and, supported by John Cage, took it over. Then Merce asked me to design a new dance he was making, called Sounddance. It was scary and exciting and I went on tour with the company all across the States in early 1974, seeing the midwest and Arizona and California, kind of a marvelous and busy trip..."

A short YouTube clip of Sounddance can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpqC5vWprGQ.

Live stream of Antony Gormley's Fourth Plinth

fourth plinth

The Fourth Plinth: 6 am July 15, 2009
(click on image for the live feed)

British artist Antony Gormley has taken over the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square this summer. Instead of installing a sculpture on the plinth he has installed a different, living, human being on the plinth - every hour, 24 hours a day for 100 days - with the U.K. press having a field day referencing it to Warhol's "15 minutes of fame" quote.

Antony Gormley:

“The idea is very simple. Through putting a person onto the plinth, the body becomes a metaphor, a symbol. In the context of Trafalgar Square with its military, valedictory and male historical statues, this elevation of everyday life to the position formerly occupied by monumental art allows us to reflect on the diversity, vulnerability and particularity of the individual in contemporary society. It’s about people coming together to do something extraordinary and unpredictable. It could be tragic but it could also be funny.”

The live video stream of the plinth can be found at: http://www.oneandother.co.uk.

More on the fourth plinth at http://www.london.gov.uk/fourthplinth.

Antony Gormley's website can be found at: http://www.antonygormley.com.

Joe Dallesandro: Poster, Film and Exhibition Catalogue

gay icons poster

NPG exhibition poster featuring Joe Dallesandro

The National Portrait Gallery in London is using an image of Warhol star Joe Dallesandro from Lonesome Cowboys for the poster and exhibition catalogue of their current "Gay Icons" exhibition. The documentary on Joe's life - Little Joe - will also be shown in September in conjunction with the exhibition. (Other highlights include an acoustic concert by Patrick Wolf.) The Dallesandro poster and exh. cat. are both available online from the NPG. Details at: http://www.npg.org.uk:8080/gayicons/index.htm.

The trailer for Little Joe can be found at: http://www.littlejoeproductions.com.

Penny Arcade at the Hot Festival

penny arcade

Warhol star Penny Arcade will be doing 9 performances of her show, Old Queen, at the Laboratory Theater at Dixon Place in New York as part of the Hot Festival in July. She'll open on July 9th and play every Thursday during the month.

The show is described as a "theatrical memoir that evokes the magic and memory of the gay men" who plucked her from the streets and raised her as she revisits the NYC neighborhoods where she began her career as a teenage runaway.

Details at: http://hotfestival.org/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=1&extmode=view&extid=12.

Crowds flock to Andy Warhol, Mr. America

andy warhol, mr. america

The "Andy Warhol, Mr. America" exhibition in Bogotá, Columbia, the largest exhibition of Warhol's work in Latin America, drew record crowds - over two thousand people - on its first day.

Curated by Philip Larratt-Smith in conjunction with the Andy Warhol Museum, the show at the Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica features over 70 silk screens and paintings, the Silver Clouds, Cow Wallpaper, photographs and screenings of his films at the Fundacion Gilberto Alzate Avendano - including The Chelsea Girls, Lupe, Nude Restaurant, Imitation of Christ, Lonesome Cowboys, Poor Little Rich Girl, Beauty #2, My Hustler, Kiss, and various Screen Tests.

Details at: http://www.lablaa.org/warhol/.

Billy Name to attend Lou Reed/Julian Schnabel booksigning in Manhattan

Added 27 June 2009: Photos from the booksigning event can be found at:
http://guestofaguest.com/nyc-parties/lou-reed-and-julian-schnabel-book-signing-party-for-berlin.

berlin book

Front cover of the new book Berlin: A Performance
by Lou Reed Directed by Julian Schnabel
(Published by Rizzoli)

Billy Name will be returning to Manhattan on Thursday, June 25th to attend the booksigning/reception for a new book documenting Lou Reed's rock opera, Berlin, directed by Julian Schnabel. In addition to images from the film, the book includes a rare conversation between Reed and Schnabel and the lyrics of Reed's original verse. The invitation-only reception at the Steven Kasher Galley in Manhattan will begin at 6:00 pm on the 25th.

Details for the Steven Kasher Gallery can be found on their website at:
http://www.stevenkasher.com.

The website for Berlin, the film, can be found at: http://www.berlinthefilm.com.

More on Lou Reed on his website at:
http://www.loureed.com/00/index.html (move the cursor to the right of the page to access the full menu).

Billy Name's website can be found at: http://billyname.com.

Ken Russell reviews Andy Warhol Treasures

edie sedgwick cardspace inside Edie card

One of the treasures in Andy Warhol Treasures: A facsimile of a card that Edie Sedgwick
sent to Andy Warhol the day after he was shot by Valerie Solanas.
(Edie's return address is the New York Psychiatric Institute.)

A review by the film director Ken Russell of the recently published book, Andy Warhol Treasures, has appeared in the Times in London. You can read it here. Russell notes in the article that Warhol's "effect on the world of art, Pop Art and, even more significantly, modern celebrity culture was and remains so huge that when he died in 1987 from a routine gall-bladder operation, the Village Voice gave its cover to his photo with the headline, 'Is God Dead?'"

The above card from Edie to Andy is just one of the treasures in the book which contains, in addition to the text, envelopes filled with high quality facsimiles, including pages from A Gold Book (1955), the stencils Warhol used for some of his Soup Cans, a bill from the hospital Warhol attended after being shot by Valerie Solanas, a poster of the Velvet Underground at Steve Paul's club The Scene, a copy of Warhol's passport and high school transcript (showing an IQ of 104), a postcard announcement of Warhol's first exhibition in New York in 1952 and the front cover of the March 1972 issue of Interview and an article from the magazine, "At Home with Candy Darling" with Candy in Marilyn Monroe-like poses. There are over 20 such facsimiles included with the book - in addition to the high quality reproductions of Warhol's art, photographs and ephemera within the book itself. In other words - Wow. Buy this book before the first edition goes out of print.

Andy Warhol presents Man on the Moon on CD

man on the moon

Music by ex-Mamas and Papas member, John Phillips, from the off-Broadway show, Man on the Moon, presented by Andy Warhol and directed by Paul Morrissey, will be released on July 21, 2009. It will include live recordings of the show made by Warhol from the audience and previously unreleased video rehearsal footage shot by Warhol. One of the songs from the CD, Star Stepping Stranger, can be heard on John Phillips' website at: http://papajohnphillips.com/news1.htm.The show was the last project that Paul Morrissey worked on for Warhol. With a cast that included Flesh for Frankenstein diva, Monique van Vooren, it ran for less than a week after underwhelming reviews. Details at: http://www.warholstars.org/chron/manonthemoon.html.

The Amazon page for the CD is here.

Andy Warhol, John Cage and Erik Satie

I have re-worked my essay on the influence (or non-influence) of John Cage's production of Erik Satie's Vexations on the editing of Warhol's film, Sleep, taking into consideration the claim by Pompidou Centre curator Emma Lavigne in the Warhol Live exhibition catalogue that "the impact made by this concert was decisive and inspired the artist to the unprecedented, repetitive structure of his film Sleep..."

The new essay can be found at: http://www.warholstars.org/news/johncage.html.

Andy Warhol's Factory People now available on DVD

factory people cover

Andy Warhol's Factory People - a documentary produced by Patrick Nagle and Yves Billon and directed by Catherine O'Sullivan Shorr - is now available on DVD. The film incorporates what must be a record number of interviews with Warhol's superstars interspersed with archival footage of New York during both the Beat and Pop eras. The DVD is a limited "Director's Cut" edition of the three hour series that was broadcast on OvationTV in the U.S. and on Sky Arts in the U.K. - a fascinating account of Warhol's silver Factory which can be ordered directly from the producer by emailing him at: patricknagle@yahoo.com.

Further details about the film can be found on the Planet Group Entertainment website at:
http://planetgroupentertainment.squarespace.com/andy-warhols-factory-people/.

Banksy at the Bristol Museum

A major exhibition of work by graffiti artist Banksy has opened at the Bristol Museum in the U.K. and continues until August 2009. In 2008 Banksy's Warhol-like screen print of super-model Kate Moss went for three times its estimate at an auction at Bonhams. The work had been included in the previous year's exhibition Warhol vs. Banksy at The Hospital gallery in London although is not included in this show. A clip of the show can be be found on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_aTcftr3w4.

The Bristol Museum exhibition was organized secretly to protect the true identity of the artist who nobody has yet managed to identify. Visitors to the museum were told that it was being used for a film during the hanging of the show and even the Bristol City Council was kept in the dark. A video of the exhibition can be found on the BBC website at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8094839.stm.

Banksy's agent, Steve Lazarides, recently opened a new gallery in London - on Rathbone Place - where the opening show is an ”Outsiders" group show with new work from Antony Micallef, Bast, Conor Harrington, David Choe, Faile, Jonathan Yeo, JR, Vhils, and others. Details at: http://www.lazinc.com/news/.

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