February - April 2016
Joe Dallesandro in "You Are Killing Me" is on YouTube here
April 7, 2016: Joe Dallesandro is starring in the video for the new Dandy Warhols' single, "You Are Killing Me." Click on the above photo to watch the video on You Tube.
The Huffington Post has an excellent article about Joe, the making of the video and how he is coping with the death of a close friend. The full article can be read here.
I just wanted to mention that Teddy Antolin went with me to meet the band and discuss the possibility of doing The Dandy Warhol's "You're Killing Me" video and was one of my biggest cheerleaders to get me to agree to do it. While we were filming that Saturday and Sunday, and unknown to any of us, Teddy was in a hospital getting ready to pass over and find our good friend David Bowie. So this video is dedicated to Teddy Antolin and I hope he and David are enjoying it as much as I am thinking about their reaction to it.
Antolin was David Bowie's hairdresser and the person who introduced Bowie to his wife, Iman. (Daily Mail)
The single is from the band's new album Distortland which is available on Friday. The single can be bought now via itunes and the usual outlets.
March 31, 2016: Viva has tried to stop the August 7th screening of Blue Movie at the Whitney. She writes the following on her Facebook page under the heading, "WHY I'M A BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER."
After much obstruction by the Staff, I finally got through to the General Counsel of the Whitney Museum, Nick Holmes, to complain that they were advertising a showing of Blue Movie on April 7th without informing me and without a release from me. I said didn't want it shown. He kept asking me "why" and I continued to tell him I didn't want it shown, Period.
Mr. Holmes told me they didn't need a signature from me because it was "Art." I said "Art, Schmart, it's Porn." I finally decided, (after decades of watching my films go out to Museums and Universities and after being told by Geralyn Huxley at the Warhol Museum that if I sued for compensation from the Museum of Modern Art they would just stop "lending" or "renting" the films out,) that ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH, to quote Bernie Sanders.
Andy swore to me that Blue Movie would never be shown but convinced me to let him show it once at the Museum of Modern Art. I also agreed, after my daughter Gaby persuaded me, to let it be shown at Lincoln Center where i introduced it and answered questions several years ago. When someone in the audience asked me what I would change I said i'd cut out the sex scenes.
While I was in Europe back in 1969 the NYC police arrested the projectionist and a NYS Judge declared the film obscene. Holmes insisted it was "Art", but not having been born yet when it was made though most certainly a Hollywood moviegoer himself had no idea how this "Art" was achieved and in fact the Whitney invited two "experts" to introduce the film; a millionaire or maybe billionaire contributor to Columbia University and one of its professors. In addition Holmes professed to have no idea who I was, called me "Vivienne" and claimed to have never seen the movie.
There are several "scholarly" articles in circulation about the film, which in this case was actually my idea, my conception, costuming, and dialogue; all improvised between me and the late Louie Waldon. Paul Morrissey was there to turn on the camera and set the aperture and then disappeared into another room because he disapproved of the whole thing. Andy's contribution was remaining behind the camera.
"Art" driven person that I was, without a thought to actual compensation, my Future, being credited or more importantly, not realizing the simple fact that the experience I wanted to film was an impossibility, I had suggested to Andy in 1968 that we make that particular film.
But I came to my senses and changed my mind when my fellow actor/lover, Marco St. John, with whom I had had the mystico/sexual out of body "We Are One" experience I naively thought could be somehow filmed, refused to be my co collaborator. He was afraid of losing his job as "Hamlet" in Joe Papp's "Shakespeare in the Park."
Andy said let's use Louie instead. I said it wouldn't be the same. Months passed and in the end I went ahead with the film because I felt sorry for Andy after his semi-recovery from having been shot by Valerie Solanis, sent to the Hospital DOA, and only revived because Mario Amayo, the other victim, told the Doctors at St. Vincent's that despite the holes in Andy's shoes and his ripped blue jeans he was a rich, famous artist. Even St. Vincent's, a Catholic Hospital had it's One Percenters.
When, sometime later, I saw Last Tango in Paris I rushed to the Factory and said "Andy, Marlon Brando is playing me." Andy said "Viva the entire film is a copy of Blue Movie." (Bertolucci had been hanging out at the Factory and had seen the film.)
Now, to my surprise, Wikipedia credits Blue Movie with having been the inspiration for Last Tango. Nobody though, credits me or Louie with anything. I'm not even allowed to have a say as to when or where it is shown, or least of all, be informed of the showings - because it's "Art" - of course Andy Warhol's "Art" - the "conceived by and written by" actors are barely if at all mentioned, let alone given a portion of the gate.
The last lawyer I spoke to said it would cost several hundred thousand dollars to even fight the good old one percenters at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC which apparently has the rights to all the "Warhol" films, the Warhol Foundation, the Warhol Museum and the Whitney. There is even a legal Precedent where a judge ruled that the performer has his or her own copyright independent of the copyright of the film. Even using that precedent, he said, would still cost several hundred thousand dollars and several years.. By that time I would surely be dead.
Louis Waldon and Viva in Andy Warhol's Blue Movie.
Andy Warhol (1928–1987), still from Blue Movie, 1968. 16mm, color, sound, 133 minutes. © 2016 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. Image Courtesy The Andy Warhol Film Project, Whitney Museum of American Art.
The Whitney Museum in New York will be showing the rarely screened Warhol film, Blue Movie, on Thursday April 7, 2016 at 7.00 pm. One reason that the film is rarely screened is that it is still legally considered "obscene." It was deemed obscene in the courts in 1969 and the verdict has never been overturned. (See Blue Movie essay here.) The Whitney page warns: "Please note: This film contains explicit sexual content."
Details on the Whitney screening and ticket purchase here.
Also - don't miss the series of films by Warhol's friend Emile de Antonio which will also be showing at the Whitney in April - including Underground, In The Year of the Pig, Millhouse, A White Comedy, Point of Order, and Mr. Hoover and I. The program of De Antonio films is co-organized by Senior Curator Donna De Salvo (curator of the upcoming Andy Warhol Retrospective in 2018) and Laura Poitras.
More on De Antonio here.
Andy Warhol by Bob Adelman (1964)
March 21, 2016: Bob Adelman, the photographer who took the often reproduced photographs of Andy Warhol with a shopping cart full of Brillo boxes and Campbell's soup cans, was found dead on Saturday in his Miami home, after having suffered what has been described as a "head wound." A native of Brooklyn, Adelman had moved to Miami after the death of his friend, the Pop artist Ray Lichtenstein, in 1997. According to the March 19th Miami Herald, Adelman's property was "strung with yellow crime scene tape, and officers were combing the neighbourhood for evidence," and were "questioning neighbours at the station."
March 18, 2016: Emma Lavigne - the director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz - has been named as the curator of the Lyon Biennale for 2017. Lavigne was one of the curators of "Warhol Live" in 2009 and also curated last year's "Warhol Underground" exhibition.
March 17, 2016: Gilda Williams will be giving a talk on Andy Warhol tonight, Thursday March 17, 2016, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London at 7 pm. Williams is a lecturer at Goldsmiths and the editor of On&By Andy Warhol. Previous talks she has given on the artist include "Andy Warhol, Death and Disasters: A Modern Danse Macabre" at the Courtauld Institute and "Warhol's Women" at the Tate Modern. She has also written about Warhol's mother in the Tate Etc. magazine. Details of her talk here.
Holly Woodlawn in The Great Speckled Bird, March 1971
March 16, 2016: I have added to the site a new essay on Women in Revolt which includes references to Holly Woodlawn when she visited her boyfriend Johnny in Atlanta. Johnny was the high school kid in Trash who Holly injects with heroin after telling him to "trust me, no needles." The new essay is here. (If you scroll down to the 11th paragraph and click on the link you can read the full interview.)
March 12, 2016: An exhibition about Jackie Curtis and Ethyl Eichelberger will take place at Howl Arts from May 5 to June 1, 2016.
The blurb for the show refers to Jackie Curtis as "one of Andy Warhol's original network of Superstars" which isn't quite true. Jackie was not part of the original silver Factory which gave birth to superstars like Baby Jane Holzer, Viva, Mary Woronov, Gerard Malanga, International Velvet, Bibbe Hansen and others. Jackie was part of the second "Factory" at 33 Union Square West.
The blurb also mentions that Jackie was in Warhol's Flesh and Women in Revolt. Both films were actually directed by Paul Morrissey. Although some listings credit Warhol as the director of Women in Revolt, officially (and legally) Morrissey directed it.
In 1978, after Warhol had moved his office to 860 Broadway (where it was no longer called the "Factory"), Curtis visited Warhol about a book that David Dalton was apparently writing about her. (Dalton would later co-author the Warhol biography, Pop: The Genius of Warhol with Tony Scherman. Dalton's sister edited Warhol's film Sleep.)
Andy Warhol (Friday, December 8, 1978):
Jackie Curtis came up. He made this point of calling a week in advance to make an appointment to come up and see me, and he was supposed to bring one other person. Well, it was like old times. Jackie arrived with fifteen people. Two were photographers and he had David Dalton who's writing a book on him, and Jackie had no teeth and he's fat, and he's on amphetamines again. But he's still so clever. Somebody clever has to do something with him, figure out how to use his talent. I thought maybe now that we have Ivan Karp and Truman writing for Interview that we could serialize Jackie's book, but I brought them in to see Bob, and Bob was so cranky, he'd been up all night thinking about his liver, and he said, "give the book to one of my assistants." So we gave it to Brigid and she read it later and called me and said it was sort of boring, that it was just tapes, and she had no suggestions, she was just being negative."
Details on the exhibition here.
March 11, 2016: Art writer Gilda Williams will be giving a talk on Andy Warhol at the Whitechapel Gallery in London on Thursday March 17, 2016. The talk will be given in conjunction with her new book On&By Andy Warhol, consisting of 50 key texts by or about Warhol, published by MIT/Whitechapel.
Williams was the editor and commissioning editor for contemporary art at Phaidon, is a London correspondent for Artforum and has written for Art Monthly, The Guardian, Sight and Sound, Burlington and Frieze magazines.
In addition to Gilda's contribution, texts include essays by Callie Angell, Art & Language, Roland Barthes, Gregory Battcock, Bob Colacello, John Coplans, Douglas Crimp, Rainer Crone, Thomas Crow, Arthur C. Danto, Donna DeSalvo, Jennifer Doyle, Trevor Fairbrother, Hal Foster, Michael Fried, Gérald Gassiot-Talabot, Anthony E. Grudin, Dave Hickey, Fredric Jameson, Donald Judd, Stephen Koch, Wayne Koestenbaum, Lucy R. Lippard, Richard Meyer, Stuart Morgan, Barbara Rose, Robert Rosenblum, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Simon Watney, and Warhol superstar Mary Woronov. A veritable "who's who" of Warhol scholarship.
Highly recommended. Details of the talk here.
March 9, 2016: The New York Times has reviewed the Avedon/Warhol exhibition in London. The beginning of the article tries to establish a link between their work but the link isn't in the work, it's in the people who appreciated the work. The same people who liked Avedon, liked Warhol. In addition to their work from the '60s (such as Avedon's 1969 image of Warhol's group at the second Factory) Avedon and Warhol also epitomised the glamour of New York during the 80s. The 80's were like the 60's but without the politics. The article quotes Donna De Salvo as saying that "Avedon’s work to me was always on this fine line between fashion and high art, and that’s the line Warhol walked as well..." De Salvo is curating the 2018 Warhol retrospective which apparently is going to be 'thematic' rather than chronological.
The exhibition/sale at the Gagosian continues until April 23rd. Press release here.
The New York Times article is here.
March 8, 2016: I have updated the page on the non-Warhol film, Scarecrow in a Garden of Cucumbers - the first film Holly Woodlawn appeared in after Women in Revolt. It was a fairly major production made for cinema release - with Tally Brown also in the cast and the participation of Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. It opened at the Waverly Theatre in New York on March 16, 1972. The page now includes what Holly said about the film in her autobiography, followed by comments about the production and distribution of the film and Vincent Canby's review for the New York Times. The page is here.
March 6, 2016: The Warhol Foundation has given grants totalling $75,000 to the Heritage Center at the Red Cloud Indian School to help develop the exhibition "Horse Nation of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ" exploring the cultural and spiritual significance of the horse as seen through the eyes of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people of the Seven Council Files (the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ)
March 5, 2016: 800-Warhols-owner Jose Mugrabi has reconciled his dispute with Christie's auction house a few days after it reached the press. Christie's had claimed that Mugrabi owed them a considerable of money for a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting (see below). Artnet is now quoting Mugrabi through an intermediary as saying "This situation arose because a client of ours on whose behalf we bid has yet to pay us. We understand that regardless of whether we get paid by him, we are responsible for the ultimate payment of the work which we planned to make in due course."
Christie's has issued the following statement: "Christie's, Jombihis Corporation and the Mugrabi family are very pleased to have reached an agreement in principle to resolve the litigation. We all look forward to continuing our long and fruitful relationship together."
The Artnet article is here.
Jose Mugrabi talks about his massive collection of works by Andy Warhol in The Great Contemporary Art Bubble directed by Ben Lewis - here.
March 2, 2016: Christie's auction house has banned Jose Mugrabi - the collector who owns 800 Warhols - from attending future auctions. They are currently suing him for payments due on a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting - The Field Next to the Other. Mugrabi successfully bid on the painting for thirty-seven million dollars but has only paid the auction house five million. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Warhol market if Mugrabi isn't there to bid up the prices as he has been accused of doing in the past.
Epiphany (1964-89), by Richard Hamilton
Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, via DACS, London, Collection of Rita Donagh
March 1, 2016: A review of the "International Pop" exhibition currently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art appeared in the New York Times a few days ago - on February 26, 2016. You can read it here.
One of the artists included is British artist Richard Hamilton, whose work Epiphany is pictured above. Hamilton is probably best known for what is sometimes considered to be the 'first' work of pop art - Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? - a collage that was originally used as a poster to advertise the "This is Tomorrow" exhibition in the U.K. He worked on the collage with John McHale. I interviewed McHale's son in 2006 who was convinced that it was his father, rather than Hamilton, who made most of the decisions in regard to what collage elements would be included in the work. After the interview appeared, Hamilton got in touch with me and sent a statement saying that McHale Jr.'s claims were "absurd." The interview with McHale Jr. is here. Richard Hamilton's statement is here.
LGBT Puerto Rico tweet about Holly Woodlawn being included in the "in memoriam" section of the Academy Awards
February 29, 2016: The Academy Awards' "in memoriam" photo of Holly can be seen here.
February 28, 2016: Andy Warhol's Shadows opened at the Guggenheim Bilbao on February 26, 2016 and continues until October 2, 2016.
Although the museum's website has a quote from Warhol in which he refers to them as "disco decor" because the opening party for the original exhibition had a disco, there are early references to "Shadow paintings of cocks and assholes" in Warhol's diary:
Andy Warhol (Diary, August 30, 1977):
Victor came in and he started dragging out the Shadow paintings of cocks and assholes hat I've been doing - the paintings all the "landscapes" have been posing for - and somebody had to tell him not to. (AWD66)
Andy Warhol (Diary, November 7, 1977):
Jed came by the office and was in the back in my working area and when he saw the stack of Polaroids of all the "landscapes" i photographed for the Shadow paintings - all the closeups of cocks and things - he began screaming that I had degenerated so low to be spending my time that way and he left, really upset, and it ruined my afternoon. (AWD86)
Details of the exhibition here (click on the moving graphic).
Special K (1961) by Derek Boshier
February 27, 2016: A Q&A with Derek Boshier will take place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Saturday, March 5, 2016. Although Boshier did not participate in the 1956 "This is Tomorrow" exhibition that is often characterized as the first pop exhibition, he is one of the artists aligned with British Pop in the early 1960s. His work was featured in the "Young Contemporaries" exhibition at the Whitechapel in 1961 and appeared in the BBC documentary Pop Goes the Easel in 1962.
He also worked on the design of the front cover of David Bowie's Lodger and Let's Dance albums. (One of his paintings was projected over Bowie on the Lets Dance album and the inner sleeve features Boshier's line drawings.)
Details of the talk on the "International Pop" events page here.
Udo Kier in Andy Warhol Presents Blood for Dracula (Directed by Paul Morrissey)
February 26, 2016: Udo Kier, who starred in two "Andy Warhol presents" productions (both directed by Paul Morrissey) - Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein - has given an interview in which he talks about being chosen for the roles:
And when the last day of the first shooting [for Frankenstein] came, I was of course sad and went to the canteen and ordered myself a half bottle of white wine. It was an amazing canteen because Fellini was shooting next door so all the actors and actresses with big breasts were sitting in the canteen together and I was in my costume of Frankenstein. And Paul Morrissey came in and said “Well, I guess we have a German Dracula” and I said “Who?” and he goes “You. But you have to lose 10 pounds in one week.”
I did not eat anymore only salad leaves and water. Not only Robert de Niro prepares himself for roles but also Udo Kier does. When the first day of shooting came, I could not stand up. That's why Dracula sits in a wheelchair. I could not stand up which was very effective. I stood up for Vittoria de Sica and fell down on the floor. It was wonderful and made it more believable when I said “I need blood of a virgin. The blood of these whores is killing me” since I was so pale and skinny. An audience wanted me to finally find a virgin which I did.
He also talks about his other films, including his appearance in Dancer in the Dark in which he and Bjork ended up improvising their scene because Lars Van Trier wasn't satisfied with the scripted version.
The interview is here.
February 24, 2016: A selection of what is billed as "Andy Warhol's Factory Films" will be shown at MOCA in Jacksonville on March 24, 2016. I'd love to tell you which films, but the museum's page on the event doesn't mention which films are being shown - although they do include stills from Blow Job and Eat, so maybe that's a hint. Details here.
Front page of the Daily News, February 23, 1987
February 23, 2016: Andy Warhol died yesterday, February 22nd - on Billy Name's birthday. The New York Daily News announced his death in the issue that came out the following morning, on the 23rd (which was also Paul Morrissey's birthday). The Daily News have put a copy of the issue online. You can read it here.
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