Author, filmmaker and bad taste-booster, John Waters, is out making the rounds promoting his new book, Role Models. He’s also featured in this weekend’s NYT Magazine, “Questions For…” section. Some snips:
There’s a chapter on Leslie Van Houten, one of the so-called Manson girls, who was convicted of murder in 1971, when she was 21, and who you argue should be released.
I do believe that. Today she is the woman she would have become if she had never met Charles Manson. Leslie is a good friend and someone who has taken full responsibility for the terrible crime she participated in.
What about the families of her victims, who don’t want her released?
They can never be wrong in their arguments, and I would never criticize their viewpoint.
Where is she being held?
The California Institution for Women, in Corona, Calif., an hour east of Los Angeles. Every year I visit her on Oscar morning. I go from her prison to Elton John’s dinner party. I guess, oddly, that sort of sums up my life.
Is there anyone you would actually kill if you knew you could get away with it?
I find it repellent when people do yoga exercises at the gate in airports. I want to kill them.
There are little things that get on my nerves, like people who have reading material in their powder room. When you go in someone’s house, and next to the toilet they have a huge basket of magazines, I find that repellent. I recommend against straining while reading.
A much younger Waters also showed up in ‘81 on Andy Warhol’s TV. Part I of it follows, with links to the other segments below:
Previously on Dangerous Minds: Andy Warhol’s TV
The career of Nico, née Christa Päffgen, and what happened to her after she crossed paths with Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground, has certainly been well-documented (see at the bottom, Nico: Icon). Less well-documented, though, are Nico’s “model” years, starting out in Berlin when she was all of 14. The accompanying photos are just a few selected from the fine—and generous—set found here.
Ranging in date from ‘52-‘67, these shots certainly capture a more innocent time in Nico’s life. I particularly like the ones below where Nico looks like she just stepped into a Godard film. It’s somewhat incredible to think that the face in the above black-and-whites would later go on to sing this, and this, and especially this!
Unleash your inner rage at art in the age of mechanical reproduction—bash Andy Warhol at the Brooklyn Museum!
Andy Warhol had a big head, so naturally, the Brooklyn Museum installed a 20-ft Warhol-head-shaped piñata. It’s filled with mysterious edibles that will rain down on art lovers when they smash it open at the Brooklyn Ball.
When I was growing up, I could read the Village Voice in the local library and fancied myself “up” on what was going on in New York, at the age of 14, even though I had never been anywhere even close to the island of Manhattan. Having said that, if I wasn’t exactly an expert on New York City per se, I was at least an expert on each and every issue of the Village Voice. (And you can tell a lot about a city from its alt weekly, let’s just say. Reading between the lines = very easy with the Village Voice. True now, and true then.)
But in my hometown, one thing I couldn’t experience, even vicariously, was the insane cable access world of Manhattan Cable, now known as the Manhattan Neighborhood Network.I’d read about shows like Ugly George, where a fat asshole in a silver-lame jumpsuit carried a video-camera (the huge old fashioned kind with the outboard decks) around New York and asked women to take their clothes off for him. Many did. Many more told him to fuck off and die. There was also Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party, which I longed to see, it was so glamorous sounding, there was Al Goldstein’s racy Midnight Blue, but most intriguing of all for me, living in Wheeling, WV where nothing ever happened, were Andy Warhol’s cable access programs. I loved the idea that anyone who wanted to have their own TV show could do so and saw myself having one myself one day (and I did, The Infinity Factory talkshow, which was on for over 2 years opposite ER!)
A great website I just discovered called Zamboni has files of a few of the Warhol programs for streaming and download. Other shows are knocking around out there, too. Many famous faces here including Halston, Pee-wee Herman, Debbie Harry and John Waters.
Recall the pilfered Warhols of all the sports legends of a couple of months ago? The original Polaroids that Andy Warol shot that served as the basis for these portraits were on display at the Danzinger Projects gallery in New York recently. There’s a gallery of them here.
It’s says that Warhol always used a Polaroid Big Shot camera. I want one! Polaroid is stupid for not trying to keep their instant cameras going for artists. It they did an “Andy Warhol Edition” of the Big Shot, I would so be there…
A head-scratching controversy has been brewing in the art world of late over a 1964 self portrait of Andy Warhol. Or more accurately put, a series of ten self portraits of the artist that used to be by the artist, but now aren’t, so they’re not self-portraits anymore, they’re just portrait portraits not by Warhol anymore despite being signed by him. Got it?
Maybe I should explain a little bit better: Warhol’s iconic Red Self Portraits (as the suite is known) have been decreed fakes by The Warhol Foundation, the New York-based body that declares Warhols authentic or not. Clearly there are a lot of Warhol forgeries floating around in the art world and let’s face it, a Warhol would be rather hard for the layman to authenticate.
With Warhol there is also the the issue of “who” actually painted the work or who pulled the screens for the serigraphs. In the 1960s it was just as likely to be studio assistants Gerard Malanga or Billy Name as Warhol himself. In the 1970s, it would have likely been Ronnie Cutrone. Everyone knows that when Warhol produced work at his “Factory” it was with a mechanical process, done by others and only supervised by the artist, who for the most part, only touched his pieces to sign them. This is a fairly well-established fact! (Malanga has long held that he painted the electric chairs series and few would dispute this claim).
However, due to a set of criteria that I find difficult to fully understand (read more about it below) somehow, someway this rather well-known Warhol self portrait became persona non grata to the Warhol Foundation and the owners are fighting back at what they consider an arbitrary and unjustifiable call, rendering once incredibly valuable—and signed!—Warhols absolutely worthless.
From The New York Review of Books “What is an Andy Warhol?” by Richard Dorment:
[O]ne picture in the series, now owned by the London collector Anthony d’Offay, is signed and dated by Warhol, and dedicated in his own handwriting to his longtime business partner, the Zurich-based art dealer Bruno Bischofberger (“To Bruno B Andy Warhol 1969”). Since the Renaissance, a signature is the way artists such as Mantegna and Titian acknowledge the authenticity of their work.
As if this were not enough to authenticate the work, the Bischofberger self-portrait appeared in Rainer Crone’s 1970 catalogue raisonn?ɬ
“I went there with a friend to do an interview, and suddenly we were the ones being interviewed by Ondine.” So says Cathy Naso of her initial visit to Warhol‘s Factory as a high school senior. Naso went there hoping to research an article for her French class, but wound up—as these things happen—leaving as a receptionist, where she worked for the next two years. Her duties during that heady period included eating lots of yogurt, transcribing Warhol’s James Joyce-inspired a: A Novel, and hanging out with The Velvet Underground.
As a reward for her efforts, Warhol gifted Naso with a self-portrait (above), which hung on her wall briefly before she stashed it in a closet for safe-keeping. Now, after 40-plus years, Naso’s selling it off through Sotheby’s, where experts think it can fetch an estimated $1-1.5 million (Umm…estimated value of hanging out at The Factory for 2 years? Priceless!).
Before Warhol gave his self-portrait to Naso, he signed it: “To Cathy ?
Interesting report by Joel Rubin at the L.A. Times metro desk this morning: Apparently, Richard L. Weisman, the (former) owner of that big cache of stolen Warhols (valued at $25 million) has decided to forgo the insurance money because he doesn’t want to go through “the hassle” of the investigation. Weisman’s decision, first reported by the Seattle Times, was confirmed by LAPD today.
Dets. Donald Hrycyk and Mark Sommer, who make up the Los Angeles Police Department’s art theft detail, had few leads to follow. There was no sign of forced entry and no substantial witness accounts. And, oddly, other valuable pieces of art in the home had been left untouched.
Now, Weisman has said he is not going to pursue a payout from the company that insured the paintings.
“It is curious,” Sommer said. “We’d like to talk to him about it.”
We’d have to agree. How many people—even fabulously wealthy people—would choose to eat $25 million because of a perceived “hassle”?
PS Is this not the best Wanted poster of all time?
Cross posting this at Brand X
Mr. Finkelstein created spontaneous portraits not only of Factory regulars like Edie Sedgwick and Gerard Malanga but also of the artists and celebrities who drifted in and out of the Warhol orbit. He was on hand when Warhol presented Bob Dylan with one of his Elvis ?
It used to pain me to think that the only footage in existence of the Velvet Underground performing was silent. Think about it: Have you ever seen any sync-sound film of the Velvets in any of the various documentaries made about them, Lou Reed, Nico, John Cale or Andy Warhol for that matter? I didn’t think so, but thanks to the rather enterprising employee of either the Museum of Modern Art or else the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh who liberated Symphony in Sound you can now see the Velvets in action and actually hear them too! That’s the good part.
The bad part is that this film, made to be screened behind the band onstage during The Exploding Plastic Inevitable “happenings” is pretty boring. It goes on for a LONG time with not much happening besides a drony primitive jam and a frenetic camera zooming in and out. Nico is there (with her young son Ari) but she’s not singing, just hitting a tambourine. Lou doesn’t sing either. At one point the camera droops on its tripod and no one readjusts it for a while. So it’s boring, most Warhol films were boring—Warhol himself always said his movies were better discussed than actually seen—but it is the freaking Velvet Underground playing live on camera for what is probably the ONLY time during their original incarnation, so it’s worth looking at for that reason alone. If you can get over how dull it is, it’s actually pretty cool. There are several versions of this online, this one, from Google Video is merely the longest. I don’t know if this is the whole thing but in the later moments of the bootleg DVD I have, it gets better when the cops show up due to a noise complaint and Warhol has to deal with them himself.
I’m looking forward to next week’s VH1 series, Lords Of The Revolution, with an excitement approaching…apathy! I mean, we all know the drill: yet another 5-parter assembled from already available footage both superior and less sanitized. Still, with Leary, Warhol, Ali, Cheech & Chong, and The Black Panthers each spearheading a night, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
If you’re curious as to what it might look like, check out the VH1 trailer. And for those of you who lack the time—or energy—to “tune in,” but still want a hit of era-defining idealism, click right here.
I remember vividly when this cover story from New York magazine originally appeared just three weeks after Andy Warhol died. As a New Yorker myself at the time, it truly felt like it was the end of an era and this article really brought the point home for me. I kept it for years and for all I know, it may still be sitting out in the garage.
After Warhol died, New York’s fabled nightlife took a nosedive (there were other factors, too, of course, like AIDS). It wasn’t like you’d be able to see Warhol at a party, a fashion show, a night club or a restaurant ever again and think to yourself “Oh, Andy’s here. I must be in the very best party in the world tonight.” That was what Warhol’s stamp of approval meant to New Yorkers. His presence made you feel cool. I met Warhol several times. When I’d tell people I was going to move to New York City, they’d ask me what my plans were and I’d say “Oh, you know, meet Andy Warhol, hang out at the Factory and something cool is bound to happen.” I actually believed this as an 18-year old!
And as fate would have it, on the very first night I spent in New York, at an opening party at the Area nightclub, the infamous homicidal club kid king, Michael Alig asked me if I’d like to meet Warhol. “Sure!” I replied and Michael proceeded to shove me—HARD—into the artist, nearly knocking him down. Warhol just shrugged it off and blamed Michael anyway as he’d seen the whole thing go down. After that incident, I’d run into Warhol every few weeks and I’d see him (usually with Cornelia Guest) often at Limelight, the nightclub where I was working. But when he died so suddenly, I can’t stress this enough, it was like a pall had come over the city. It was a real turning point, for me anyway and New York would just never be quite the same ever again.
The first sign that there was something wrong with Andy Warhol, that he might be a mortal being after all, came three weeks ago. It was a Friday night, and after dinner with friends at Nippon, he was planning to see Outrageous Fortune, eat exactly three bites of a hot-fudge sundae at Serendipity, buy the newspapers, and go to bed. At dinner, though, he felt a pain. It was a sharp, bad pain, and rather than let anyone see him suffer, he excused himself. And as soon as he got home, the pain went away.
“I’m sorry I said I had to go home,” Warhol told Pat Hackett a few days later as he narrated his daily diary entry to her over the phone. “I should have gone to the movie, and no one would ever have known.”
In fact, no one remembered. And if anyone suspected trouble, it was dispelled the next week by Warhol’s ebullient spirits at the Valentine’s dinner for 30 friends that he held at Texarkana with Paige Powell, the young woman who was advertising director of Interview magazine by day and Warhol’s favorite date by night. Calvin Klein had sent him a dozen or so bottles of Obsession, and before Warhol set them out as party favors for the women, he drew hearts on them and signed his name. On one for ballerina Heather Watts he went further, inscribing the word the public never associates with Andy Warhol: “Love.”
The World of Warhol by Jesse Kornbluth, from the March 9, 1987 issue of New York Magazine.