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Tiny Andy Warhol-themed vinyl toys
09:59 am


Andy Warhol

Here’s a delightful Andy Warhol-themed series of Dunny figures by Kidrobot. I’m sure most of you already know this, but if not, a Dunny is a type of vinyl art toy created by Paul Budnitz and Tristan Eaton and produced by Kidrobot. They’ve been in production since 2004 and are widely traded.

According to the Kidrobot website, each Dunny comes packaged in a blind box style “so each and every box is an incredible and creative surprise!” (And if you want to “collect ‘em all” this also means you’ll inevitably have lots of duplicate “traders.”

Each quantity equals one blind box. To order a case pack, please order a quantity of 20 units. 

The first 50 people to order a case pack (20 units) will receive a special Limited Edition Gift with Purchase Warhol Dunny! Customer Service will not be able to tell you if you are one of the first 50 orders nor will you be notified if you are one of the first 50 people. You will simply receive the gift with purchase in your order.

I’m blogging about this a little late, so you’re probably not going to be one of the first 50 people. However, there’s a slight chance I could be wrong.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dennis Hopper gives a tour of his art collection

Dennis Hopper bought one of Andy Warhol’s first soup-can prints for seventy-five bucks. It should have been a good investment but then Hopper lost it to his first ex-wife—part of the divorce settlement. She also picked-up a Roy Lichtenstein that Hopper had bought for just over a thousand dollars. The ex-wife sold it for $3k. If she’d kept it she could have made a cool $16 million. But it was never about money for Hopper:

My idea of collecting is not going and buying bankable names, but buying people that I believe are really contributing something to my artistic life.

Hopper was a “a middle-class farm boy” from Dodge City, Kansas. He was born on May 17th, 1936. He had Scottish ancestors—which might explain some of his wild temperament. His mother was a lifeguard instructor. His father worked for the post office.

Hopper fought “the cows with a wooden sword…hung a rope in the trees and played Tarzan”—all the stuff kids do. He swam in the pool his mother managed. Fired his BB gun at crows. Once looked at the sun through a telescope and went blind for five days. Hopper was smart, creative, arty—went to Saturday morning art classes. But growing up on a farm he felt a childhood angst about missing out. He felt desperate. To get away from this feeling he went to the movies. He came home and sniffed gasoline. He watched the clouds turn into clowns and goblins. He sniffed more gasoline wanting to see what else the clouds were hiding. He OD’d. He thought he was Abbott and Costello and Errol Flynn. He wrecked his grandfather’s truck with a baseball bat.

The family moved and moved again—ending up in San Diego. In high school Hopper was voted the one most likely to succeed. He had a taste for theater and wanted to act. He went out to Hollywood and became an actor.

It was Vincent Price who first hipped Hopper to art. He told him “You need to collect—this is where you need to put your money.” But it wasn’t about money—it was “a calling.”

I always thought that acting was art, writing was art, music was art, painting was art, and I’ve tried to keep that cultural vibe to my life. I never wanted to don a tie, or go into an office.

Hopper was eighteen performing Shakespeare in San Diego when he was introduced to James Dean—“the best young actor in America, if not the world, when I met him.”

Jimmy arrived, and I saw him start to act, and I realized I was nowhere near as good as him. I’d never seen anyone improvise like that. I was full of preconceived ideas about when to make a gesture, how to read a line. I considered myself an accomplished Shakespearian actor. And he’d do this improvising, and I’d check the script and think, “Where the hell did those lines come from?” He taught me some basic stuff. “If you’re going to drink something in a film, drink it. If you’re going to smoke something, smoke it. Don’t act as if you’re drinking or smoking, just do it as you would off-set.” That was such good advice. He taught me to live the moment, in the reality, not fill my head with presupposed ideas, or anticipate what may or may not happen.

Hopper signed to Warner Bros. Started making movies. Worked with Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Hung around art galleries—became a “gallery bum.” When Dean died, Hopper was devastated. It may have led to his “I’m a fucking genius, man” behavior that eventually got him blackballed from Hollywood.

He moved to the east coast. Hung around the art scene. Became friends with Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Ed Ruscha. He still collected art—but it was never about the money.

Dennis Hopper would have been eighty this year. He died in 2010—three years after his mother died. She made it to ninety. Hopper left a vast collection of artwork—paintings by Warhol, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Hopper saw himself as a custodian—keeping the art until he died and it was given over to a museum.

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘New Madness at the Discothèque’: Velvet Underground in LIFE magazine exposé of 1966’s groovy scene

Issues of LIFE magazine from the mid- to late ‘60s can be a real trip, because they didn’t flinch from the changes happening in Western society during that time. True to its mandate, LIFE forthrightly addressed the rise of the drug culture, shocking new fashions, and the war in Vietnam, among many other topics that would have given the average reader in small-town America occasion for wonderment and concern.

The November 26, 1965, issue is commonly cited as a turning point—LIFE put on its cover a shocking photograph of a blindfolded Viet Cong prisoner being held by Marines, under the headline “The Blunt Reality of War in Vietnam.”

Just a few months later, in the May 27, 1966, issue, LIFE took a look at the groovalicious occurrences to be found in the discotheques across the country. The cover headline ran “New Madness at the Discothèque” but inside the story boasted the even more delightful headline “Wild New Flashy Bedlam of the Discothèque.”

I’m not 100% sure of this, but I suspect that the use of the French word discothèque would have been quite a bit weirder to U.S. audiences of that moment, than it is now—in other words its deployment represented a subtle bid to shock and discomfort the magazine’s staider readers.

The article in question was really a photo essay and therefore no writer was credited, even though the pictures are accompanied by generous captions. Since the story covered dance clubs in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, LIFE relied on a team of photographers that consisted of Steve Schapiro, T. Tanuma, Yale Joel, Declan Haun, and John Zimmerman.

The Exploding Plastic Inevitable play the Trip, May 1966
The first photo in the spread, on the top of p. 72, actually shows an unnamed Lou Reed and Co. playing a club called the Trip in Los Angeles, mentioned in the caption as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable under the aegis of Andy Warhol. The Velvet Underground actually were slated to play the Trip from May 3-18 but the sheriff’s dept. closed the joint down after the May 5 show. The article mentions none of that, interestingly.

Here’s a poster advertising that run at the Trip. Jim Morrison was apparently there on opening night. VU’s openers were the Mothers of Invention, but there was some evident friction between the two bands, and a local act called the Doors was apparently considered as a replacement for the Mothers’ slot, but it never happened.

The biggest club in the new scene, according to the piece, was called Arthur in New York, which was named after a quip from A Hard Day’s Night and was located at 154 East 54th Street. It was founded by Richard Burton’s first wife.

Other clubs mentioned in the piece were Bob Goldstein’s Lightworks lab (at the time he was going by “Bobb Goldsteinn”), which was based out of the Village; Cheetah at Broadway & 53rd, which Howie Pyro looked at for DM two years ago; the pulsating Le Bison in Chicago; and an enormous venue called The World, which was converted from an airplane hangar located in Garden City, New York.

In his book The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night Anthony Haden-Guest provides an interesting account of Le Bison’s signature attraction, “the Translator,” which

coded music into electrical pulses that activated a flashing light system. You could say that Ferri was fulfilling a project of the Decadents of the nineteenth century, who had dreamed of sense swapping. In one of Rimbaud’s poems each vowel was a color, and the Marquis d’ Esseintes, the hero of a novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans, would inhale scents as though they were a symphony. The “Translator” made ear-to-eye transactions, turning thumping sound into fractious light for the new decadence.

More groovy LIFE in the 1960s, after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Where’s Warhol?’: See if you can find the elusive white-haired pop art master
10:02 am


Andy Warhol
Where's Waldo

Little could cement Andy Warhol’s status as the world’s number-one free-floating, all-purpose signifier of “the art world” more convincingly than the recent publication of Where’s Warhol? by Catharine Ingram and Andrew Rae just a couple of weeks ago by Laurence King.

The playful, dense book is an obvious homage to the Where’s Waldo? series of books by Martin Handford that were an enormous sensation in the 1980s and 1990s. (In the U.K., where the books originated, the books were called Where’s Wally?)

A fact that was most likely not as easily apprehended as Waldo’s red-and-white winter hat was that Handford’s books represented a culmination of an artistic tradition known as the “Wimmelbilderbuch,” a German term that is roughly translated as “teeming picture book.” Richard Scarry was probably the most popular practitioner of the Wimmelbilderbuch, but the tradition has surprisingly deep roots, encompassing such visionary geniuses as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

The creators of Where’s Warhol? appear to be acutely aware of the Wimmelbilderbuch tradition, as one of their most enchanting spreads is a riff on Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, retitled simply “The Garden of Artistic Delights”:

The tableau is simply overflowing with references to the art world. Just in a few seconds I can spot references to Basquiat, Haring, Dalí, Koons, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Gilbert & George. I’d love to know what I’m missing!

In each panel, the task is to pore over the image and detect the acknowledged master of pop art, always wearing a white-and-blue striped shirt and always wearing sunglasses (you can usually tell the decoys because they aren’t wearing the sunglasses).

Here’s a marvelous panel with Warhol and some pals at Studio 54:

As Carey Dunne of Hyperallergic points out, the fun of detecting the well-known personages in the panels actually is a pretty decent analogue for Warhol’s own celebrity-drenched life.
Several more panels to look at, after the jump….....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and his cavity-inducing, bubblegum-colored totally 80s wedding

Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman photographed at their art deco themed wedding, 1984
Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman photographed at their art deco themed wedding, 1984.
I don’t know about you, but just looking at these photos of Nick Rhodes (the keyboardist for Duran Duran) all dolled up for his 1984 wedding to model and Iowa department store heir, Julie Anne Friedman, gave me both a cavity and a contact high.
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and his then wife, Julie Anne Friedman on their wedding day, 1984
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and his then-wife, Julie Anne Friedman on their wedding day, August, 18th, 1984.
Drawn together by their mutual love of music, Andy Warhol and apparently lipstick, the pair met when Rhodes was only 20, and when Friedman was a mere 23. Friedman’s wealthy folks loved Rhodes as they were under the impression that their new son-in-law didn’t do drugs and enjoyed a good game of Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble. Which was about as far away from the truth as you could get back in Duran Duran’s heyday, an era that was routinely full of liver-killing champagne, cognac and cocaine parties.

Warhol himself was a huge fan of Duran Duran and according to vocalist Simon Le Bon, had a bit of a crush on Nick Rhodes (of whom Warhol writes rather extensively about in his diaries—once confessing to UK magazine The Face that he masturbated while watching Rhodes in Duran Duran’s videos. You know, just like the rest of us). Here’s an excerpt from Warhol’s diary that recalls the occasion when Nick brought his then-girlfriend Julie Anne to meet meet the Pop of Pop:

Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran came to the office and bought his girlfriend Julie Anne. He’s twenty and she’s twenty three. He was wearing twice as much makeup as she was, although he is half as tall.

The pair were married in a ceremony in London, which Warhol did not attend as he didn’t care much for traveling. He did however send along a little wedding present—an original piece of artwork with the inscription, “To Nick and Julie, love Andy ‘84’.” Rhodes and Friedman divorced in 1992 and in 2014, Friedman auctioned off the wedding gift from Warhol (much to the apparent displeasure of Rhodes who had gotten the bulk of their large art collection when they split) for $149,000. More photos from the wedding and Andy’s wedding gift follow, as well as footage from Nick Rhodes’ interview segment with Warhol on Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes in 1985.
Nick Rhodes in his pink tuxedo at his wedding to Julie Anne Friedman, August 18th, 1984
Nick Rhodes and Julie Anne Friedman at their wedding, August 18th 1984
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Wickedly-fun photos of Grace Jones’ 30th birthday bash, 1978

Grace Jones with Jimmy Baio, Divine, Julie Budd, Nona Hendryx and a few unnamed dancers

In the ‘70s and ‘80s we all had our fun, and now and then we went really too far. But, ultimately, it required a certain amount of clear thinking, a lot of hard work and good make-up to be accepted as a freak.—Grace Jones

If a single photo series could encapsulate ‘70s disco dust debauchery and fun… this document of Grace Jones’ 30th birthday party held at LaFarfelle Disco in New York on June 12, 1978 would be IT. Famous guests included Elton John, Divine, Andy Warhol, Jerry Hall, Jimmy Baio (Scott Baio’s cousin, of course), Julie Budd and Nona Hendryx.

To have been a fly on the wall for this birthday party. Can you imagine all the shit people were up to when the cameras weren’t flashing?!



Elton John, Andy Warhol and Jerry Hall

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Vintage 1970s Warhol / Velvet Underground-inspired banana record player

Over on Etsy, there’s a Warhol/Velvet Underground-inspired portable banana-shaped record player from the 1970s for sale. The asking price is $1500. That seems a bit steep to me, but truth be told, I’ve never seen one of these before. They must be pretty scarce!

From the write-up on Etsy:

Ok, folks. I bought this record player because the time to buy something you have never seen is when you see it. And I am a huge Warhol fan. At the time, I could find no information on this. A friend was able to find this old advertising for it in an old Speigel catalog. In searching the internet, there are only 2 of these known. There is one in Indianapolis that a guy has from his youth- a present from his grandmother. The other one is in the Banana Museum in California. I even wrote to the Warhol Foundation to find out if there was any kind of affiliation, but they had never heard anything about this and had no record. They came up with the same information I did. Mine is not perfect, it shows wear and I cannot determine if the black markings on this have been redone or if they are original- looking at the picture in the ad, it is still hard to tell, but they look rough to me. I still love this. It runs properly at all 3 speeds, but it will need a needle. The cord is in good condition and the case locks as it should. The ad touts that this will play in any position, even upside-down, but I would not suggest such a thing, as it cannot be good for your records.

If you’re interested in it or want to contact seller, click here.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Bowie, Elvis, Warhol ‘Black Star’ connection: Popism eats itself

Like everyone else on this planet, I feel the loss of David Bowie like a black hole in my heart and this sets me searching and thinking and finding weirdness a go-go (and everything tastes nice). After watching the new video for “Lazarus,” I was left chilled to the bone as though it was recorded as he was dying, and as if he were speaking directly to me. The whole thing with UK newspapers saying there are “clues” all over Blackstar and all that “Paul is Dead” sorta stuff. Except David Bowie is dead. I mean he is dead, right? Then I was alerted to the unreleased song “Black Star” recorded by Bowie’s birth mate (everyone knows they share a birthday of course) Elvis!
This track was recorded for a 1960 film that was originally to be called Black Star but that wound up being retitled Flaming Star instead.

The original recording sat in the vaults until the 1990s when it became available to the public. Besides sharing a birthday with the King of Rock and Roll, Bowie was very interested in and influenced by Elvis, too, so there would be no reason to think that he wouldn’t have been aware of this song, with its aptly chilling lyrics that could be applied to Bowie’s end of life situation…

Every man has a black star
A black star over his shoulder
And when a man sees his black star
He knows his time, his time has come

Black star don’t shine on me, black star
Black star keep behind me, black star
There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do
Give me time to make a few dreams come true, black star

When I ride I feel that black star
That black star over my shoulder
So I ride in front of that black star
Never lookin’ around, never lookin’ around

Black star don’t shine on me, black star
Black star keep behind me, black star
There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do
Give me time to make a few dreams come true, black star

One fine day I’ll see that black star
That black star over my shoulder
And when I see that old black star
I’ll know my time, my time has come

Black star don’t shine on me, black star
Black star keep behind me, black star
There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do
Give me time to make a few dreams come true, black star

Here’s Elvis’ “Black Star”:

And Bowie’s “Blackstar”...

...with its own chilling and obscure lyrics:

In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
Your eyes

On the day of execution, on the day of execution
Only women kneel and smile, ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, at the centre of it all
Your eyes, your eyes


In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
Your eyes

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

How many times does an angel fall?
How many people lie instead of talking tall?
He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangster)

I can’t answer why (I’m a blackstar)
Just go with me (I’m not a filmstar)
I’m-a take you home (I’m a blackstar)
Take your passport and shoes (I’m not a popstar)
And your sedatives, boo (I’m a blackstar)
You’re a flash in the pan (I’m not a marvel star)
I’m the great I am (I’m a blackstar)

I’m a blackstar, way up, oh honey, I’ve got game
I see right so white, so open-heart it’s pain
I want eagles in my daydreams, diamonds in my eyes
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a star star, I’m a blackstar)

I can’t answer why (I’m not a gangster)
But I can tell you how (I’m not a flam star)
We were born upside-down (I’m a star star)
Born the wrong way ‘round (I’m not a white star)
(I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangster
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar
I’m not a pornstar, I’m not a wandering star
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

In the villa of Ormen stands a solitary candle
Ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, your eyes
On the day of execution, only women kneel and smile
Ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, your eyes, your eyes

And as all things in pop culture eventually lead back to Andy Warhol, the kicker for me is that as I was looking into this I realized that all the infamous Warhol Elvis silkscreen art that you have seen your whole life is from (of course) a still photo from Flaming Star. And I don’t have to remind you that Bowie played Warhol in the 1996 film Basquiat do I? More will be revealed, I’m sure. It’s like that Kennedy and Lincoln coincidence thing, isn’t it?

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
‘Two Days in the Life of Andy….’: Candid photos of Andy Warhol, 1981
12:42 pm


Andy Warhol
Robert Levin

Andy Warhol seated at a table at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, Robert Levin, 1981
In the spring of 1981, Andy Warhol was working on his “Myths” show, which ran later that year at New York’s Ronald Feldman Gallery.

Robert Levin, a photographer on assignment for Germany’s Stern magazine, spent two days with the pop art master. Levin stuck to Warhol like glue, accompanying him everywhere as he traversed the city, including work sessions at the Factory, a facial treatment at the Janet Sartin Spa, and a bicycle ride in the East Village. By chance Warhol ran into filmmaker John Waters on Madison Avenue, and Levin captured that meeting as well.

Maison Gerard Gallery in New York is showing an exhibition of Levin’s photographs called “Two Days in the Life of Andy…,” but it closes tomorrow, alas. The exhibition showcases fifteen black-and-white photographs which were taken over the course of the two days. This is the first time the images have been shown in the United States.

The most striking photos in the show are likely the ones in which Warhol gets a facial treatment. “Warhol had a lifelong obsession with appearance and beauty regimes, he was fanatical about his dermatologist and skin care, so for historians and collectors these images are going to be particularly interesting,” commented exhibition curator and Warhol expert and collector James Hedges in a statement.

In addition to the photographs shown here, you can see more at the Maison Gerard Gallery website.

All photos by Robert Levin. Click on any image to get a larger view.

Andy Warhol undergoing a facial treatment at the Janet Sartin Spa in New York City, Robert Levin, 1981

Andy Warhol relaxing after receiving a facial treatment at the Janet Sartin Spa in New York City, Robert Levin, 1981

Chance meeting between Andy Warhol and John Waters on Madison Avenue, Robert Levin, 1981

Andy Warhol posing at the New York City midtown store where he purchased a bullet proof vest, Robert Levin, 1981
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, Bettie Page & more roller skating (because roller skating rules!)

Andy Warhol roller skating
Andy Warhol roller skating
If you keep up with my posts here at DM, you know I often put together cool photo-sets featuring famous people doing things that we all like to do like hitting the beach or lying in bed. This time around I’ve pulled together something fun for you to kill time with this Friday - images of people way cooler than us on roller skates.
Bettie Page and Gus the Gorilla roller skating, mid-1950s
Bettie Page and Gus the Gorilla roller skating, mid-1950s
Some of the images are from the wide variety of films with either roller skating themes or scenes in them such as Raquel Welch tearing it up on the derby track in the 1972 film, Kansas City Bomber. Others are from the late 70s and 80s when Roller Disco was all the rage. There’s even a few that go way back in time that I slipped in because they were just too cool not to share.

I’ve also included a video that features Dutch girl band, the Dolly Dots roller skating around in leotards lipsynching to their 1979 track, “(They Are) Rollerskating.” Because, like I said, roller skating RULES!
Grace Jones roller skating at Compo Beach, 1973
Grace Jones roller skating at Compo Beach, 1973
Judas Priest roller skating in 1981
Judas Priest, 1981
Many more famous rollerskaters, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Keith Haring’s scabrous New York Post collages
11:48 am


Andy Warhol
Keith Haring
New York Post

When you think of the work of Keith Haring, it’s probable that unless you know a great deal about him, you’ll envision it all as being rather similar, brightly colored graffiti-style artifacts with faceless outline-homunculi thrusting their fists into the air and crawling babies and barking dogs with wiggly motion lines, perhaps on a Swatch? CRACK IS WACK: we’ve all seen it.

Well, as is true of nearly all artists, Haring’s signature style didn’t emerge fully formed, and there is a lot of work from his younger years that isn’t much like that at all. While this tendency never really left him, Haring started out as something closer to a standard-issue agit-prop street artist and collagist, one with a huge debt to Warhol, whom he later befriended. In 1980, already having acquired some reputation as a street artist, Haring briefly adopted a style in which he manipulated choice phrases from the cover of the New York Post to create bizarre new headlines in which his most hated public figures (Ronald Reagan and the Pope) became the butt of the joke. In a text that can be found in Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography by John Gruen, Haring wrote:

The most notorious of my street pieces were the ones that looked like the front page of the New York Post. I’d cut out letters from the Post and rearrange them to make fake headlines, like REAGAN SLAIN BY HERO COP or POPE KILLED FOR FREED HOSTAGE or MOB FLEES AT POPE RALLY. I Xeroxed these in the hundreds and I’d paste them on lampposts and on newsstands. Because they looked so real, people were forced to confront them. They were completely confused—and the posters really made a mark, because they got into people’s consciousness.

When I lived in New York, my housemates and I would frequently joke about strange turns of phrase that we would see in the New York Post. For better or worse, the deathless tabloid represents the pinched and chauvinistic and intolerant side of the city, and it does that pretty damn well. The fact that you probably knew EXACTLY how a New York Post cover treatment of any subject looks and feels before you even looked at any of the pictures in this post is a testament to their nauseating skill at getting people riled up, and the damn thing is probably as iconic as Mount Fuji and may well last as long as it, too.

Here are a bunch of those, I believe all of these date from 1980.



Obviously this is the original taped-together collage version of the one above it, in Xerox form.
Many more examples of Keith Haring’s New York Post collages after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Intimate photos of Andy Warhol’s Factory Superstars, the Velvet Underground and Nico
12:51 pm


Andy Warhol
Velvet Underground
Billy Name

I wonder how many people in the world had a romance with Andy Warhol and also combined that with being a significant influence on Warhol’s work. You make your list and I’ll make mine, but we shouldn’t discount the possibility that that list will start and end with Billy Name. Born William Linich, Jr., Name was a prominent lighting designer in NYC and even won an Obie for his lighting around the time he met Warhol, which was in 1959.

He had a brief romance with Warhol which evolved into a long-lasting friendship and collaboration. Name was selected to be the archivist for the Factory. At one point Warhol handed him a camera and said, “Here, Billy, you do the stills photography,” and Name’s identity as a photographer was born. By that time, Name had already gone ahead and “silverized” a dilapidated hat factory on East 47th Street, transforming it into one of the most iconic places of the late 1960s. In The Warhol Diaries, Warhol said of Name that he “had a manner that inspired confidence. He gave the impression of being generally creative, he dabbled in lights and papers and artists materials. ... I picked up a lot from Billy.”

Today at the Serena Morton II gallery at 345 Ladbroke Grove in London starts an exhibition of Name’s Warhol-era photos called “Billy Name: The Silver Age” that runs for roughly three weeks. There is a lovely associated book with the same title that came out last year from Reel Art Press, and if you want to hear some eye-popping blurbs, check these two out: Gerard Malanga said that “Billy’s book will go down in history as the best book about Warhol,” whereas Warhol himself said, “Billy’s photos were the only thing that ever came close to capturing the feel of the 1960s Silver Factory.”

The Guardian recently interviewed Name, now 75, at the Mid-Regional Hospital in his hometown of Poughkeepsie (where I attended college, as it happens) for “extreme dehydration” along with a host of other ailments. All of us at DM wish him a speedy recovery.

All of the pictures in this post you can see in a larger version by clicking on them.

Warhol using a pay phone at the 1964 World’s Fair

Nico, 1967

Warhol in the original Factory studio, 1964

VU, 1967
A bunch more masterful Billy Name shots after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Pre-Velvet Underground Nico in Spanish brandy advertisements, 1964
02:10 pm


Andy Warhol
Velvet Underground

These Centenario Terry brandy ad, made for Spanish TV, dates back to 1964 and feature a young and impossibly beautiful Christa Päffgen who would soon go on to join the Velvet Underground at the behest of Andy Warhol.

Years later we have this entry from Andy Warhol’s Diary on Monday October 6th, 1980:

“Went to C.Z. Guest’s for drinks. A guy there told me, “We have someone in common.” He said that his family owned all the brandy and sherry in Spain and that in the sixties Nico was the girl in all their advertisements in all the posters and subways and magazines, that she was famous all over Spain. He wanted to know where this beautiful girl was now and I said that it was a whole other person, that he’d never believe it, that she was fat and a heroin addict. He wanted to see her and I said that if she was still playing at the Squat Theatre we could go see her.”

There used to be a few more of these ads on YouTube, but most seemed to have vanished.

The actor here, Hans Meyer was apparently closely associated with this particular brand of cognac.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Andy Warhol, children’s book illustrator
01:12 pm


Andy Warhol
children's books

It’s well known that before Andy Warhol became the most famous artist in New York—if not the world—he worked for several years as a commercial illustrator. For instance, he did a bunch of album covers in the mid- to late 1950s, a couple of which are quite familiar to anyone who follows jazz—even if they’re not familiar “as Warhol covers.”

Another of his gigs lasted about four years, that being occasional illustrations for children’s stories in the “Best In Children’s Books” series published by Nelson Doubleday. He illustrated six stories between 1957 and 1960—since there were 33 volumes in the series at a minimum, we can be sure that the series was pretty popular. Every volume had roughly ten stories in it, and each story featured art by a different illustrator. So Warhol’s output in this series was a tiny fraction of the art contained therein. One of the other artists who did illustrations in the same series was Richard Scarry.

The cover of vol. 27 (art not by Warhol)
It’s so funny to think of the mind behind “Race Riot” (1963), “Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times” (1963), and “Sixteen Jackies” (1964) also illustrating “Card Games Are Fun,” “Magic Porridge Pot,” and “Funny Words and Riddles” just a few years earlier. (Actually, here’s a good book focusing on Warhol’s violent works from the 1962-1964 period.)

There are plenty of pictures of these drawings on the Internet, but alas, many of them come from Etsy and eBay listings, so the images aren’t always so great.

In 1983 Warhol actually did put out a children’s book of his own that was more in keeping with his well-known style, but that’s another subject.
“Funny Words and Riddles” by Alice Salaff, vol. 5 (1957):

“Homemade Orchestra” by Joseph Leeming, vol. 7 (1958):


Many more Warhol illustrations after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Never any sympathy for the wild ones’: Trans pioneer and Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn is dying
10:20 am


Andy Warhol
Holly Woodlawn

Queer historians know Holly Woodlawn as a transgender pioneer and consummate wild child—she was once arrested in New York for impersonating the wife of the French Ambassador to the U.N. The art crowd knows her as a supremely talented Warhol superstar who gave amazing performances in both Trash and Women in Revolt. But Holly Woodlawn was most famously celebrated in the first lines of “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”:

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she


Portrait of Holly Woodlawn by EP Holcomb

Despite her icon status, Woodlawn is unable to pay for her mounting medical expenses as her health deteriorates. The outlook is not good, but she doesn’t want to die in a nursing home, and hopes to return home with the help of donations. Performance artist and playwright Penny Arcade is running a crowdfunding campaign for 24-hour at-home care and eventual funeral expenses; you can contribute here. Arcade is quick to point out that, despite the recent visibility of trans people and trans issues, no one seems quite as interested in the foremothers of the movement and their unglamorous, real-world problems.

Many people have commented that they are waiting to see Caitlin Jenner, LaVern Cox or one of the other high profile transgendered people with high profile step up to call attention to Holly’s situation forgetting that most Hollywood people live far away from the reality of renegades like Holly and probably have not yet heard of Holly’s situation and may not..It may go straight to their dead mail! What I find far more curious is that cadre of so called Transactivists that make so much noise about words like Trannie or NightClubs with the word Tranny that were of our community and opened before they were in elementary school. Where is GLADD and other single issue organizations who love to be associated with trans issues when it suits them?

The truth is Holly is Beyond Theory and always has been…she lived her politics on the street with her body not on a velour couch with 8 people who took the same Gender studies class as her! Truth is: There’s never any sympathy for the wild ones.


You can read more about Holly in her amazing memoir, A Low Life in High Heels: The Holly Woodlawn Story. To catch a glimpse of her raw talent, see the clip below from Andy Warhol’s Trash. Woodlawn’s performance was so intense that the great director George Cukor petitioned the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to nominate her for best actress.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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