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Andy Warhol paints Debbie Harry on an Amiga computer, 1985
10.22.2013
09:10 am
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When Commodore released the Amiga (which was the highest-quality desktop computer out there for a little while), they got a really good get for the product launch press conference in late July of 1985: none other than Andy Warhol. Rather remarkably, according to Technologizer, the launch event was “a black-tie, celebrity-studded gala at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York’s Lincoln Center.”

The Amiga always was a funny duck, but at the time, it offered better graphics than Apple or PCs, and it also offered a fantastic thing called multitasking. People who owned Amigas were known to be evangelical about the subject. As New York Magazine told it, Warhol murmured into a microphone, “It’s such a great thing. I’ve always wanted to be Walt Disney. I’m gonna tell everyone to get one.” (The bulk of that article is a rave review of the newly unveiled Amiga.) It’s apparent that the pixelated version of the Blondie lead singer qualifies as a “Warhol” “original” on the strength of Warhol executing the fill function a couple of times, but still.
 
Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry
 
Warhol isn’t exactly synonymous with forward-thinking technophilia, but in a lot of ways, computer-generated art fits in perfectly well with his sunny, democratic, and somewhat automated take on the world. After all, this is the guy who in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, penned, in what is one of my absolute favorite quotations of the twentieth century, “What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”
 
Amiga World
 
Warhol also made the cover of the third-ever issue of Amiga World (blurry PDF), which also scored an interview with the pop art master. In the introduction to the interview, it is made painfully clear how entirely crazy it was that the magazine got Warhol to agree to it. The interview is predictably amusing, and Warhol is epigrammatic and opaque and inscrutable in his oddly accessible way, but what does shine through is his genuine enthusiasm for the Amiga and computers in general. Also, out of nowhere Warhol uncorks this pithy gem: “Mass art is high art.”  It’s definitely worth a read.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
John Waters and Divine on a rarely seen episode of Andy Warhol’s TV show
Warhol Polaroids of Sports Legends

Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.22.2013
09:10 am
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Elizabeth Taylor’s craziest role: ‘The Driver’s Seat’ AKA ‘Identikit’
10.09.2013
11:23 am
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The Driver’s Seat AKA Identikit stars Elizabeth Taylor in one of her single most berserk performances and since no one can bring the crazy like La Liz, that is really saying something. This 1974 Italian film is based on a novella by Muriel Spark about a disturbed woman in a foreign country who seeks a man who will tie her up and stab her to death. There is ridiculous (mostly shouted, even screamed) dialogue like: “I sense a lack of absence” and “I feel homesick for my own loneliness.” How about “You look like Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. Do you want to eat me?” She holds up her purse in an airport security check and exclaims “This may look like a purse but it is actually a bomb!?” The best line is this, however: “When I diet, I diet and when I orgasm, I orgasm! I don’t believe in mixing the two cultures!”

The director, Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, seems to have had no control over Taylor whatsoever and it appearss like she is making up her own Dada dialogue on the spot much of the time. Andy Warhol has a cameo in the film playing a British “your Lordship” who has a cryptic encounter with Liz in an airport and they meet again later in the film. His voice is overdubbed with an English voice, which is disconcerting but kind of interesting, too. Why isn’t this cuckoo-pops crazy film better known?

 
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Here is what the AllMovie Guide has to say about The Driver’s Seat:

A beautiful but mysterious woman goes on a journey that has dangerous consequences for her and those around her in this offbeat, arty drama from Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Patroni Griffi. Lise (Elizabeth Taylor) is a woman edging into middle age who is nearing the end of her emotional rope. Needing some time away from her job and responsibilities, Lise flies to Rome, and on the flight she meets Bill (Ian Bannen), an eccentric health food enthusiast who makes it clear he wishes to seduce her, and Pierre (Maxence Mailfort), a curious man who is wary of Lise and goes out of his way to avoid her. Lise informs anyone she speaks with that she’s come to Rome to meet her boyfriend, but it soon becomes clear she has no specific plans nor anyone to see. Lise whiles away the afternoon shopping with Mrs. Fiedke (Mona Washbourne), a chatty older woman from Nova Scotia, and in time crosses paths with Bill again, but it’s not until she meets up with Pierre that her real reason for coming to Italy, as well as the depth of her madness, becomes clear. As Lise wanders through Rome, a team of police detectives is seen investigating a crime that seems to involve her. Also released as Identikit and Psychotic, The Driver’s Seat features a brief appearance from Andy Warhol as a British nobleman.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to stunned silence and it has been suggested that Liz at one point tried to buy up the rights and all prints of the movie. The filming began one day after she filed for divorce from Richard Burton and she reportedly said to director, Griffi, “It takes one day to die, another to be reborn.”
 
The Driver’s Seat is not out on a proper DVD release, but you can often find bootlegs at a “99 Cents Only” store.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.09.2013
11:23 am
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Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol, 1969: ‘Do what ever you want’
09.04.2013
05:06 pm
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Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers promo shoot
 
Sticky Fingers: The Stones at the peak of their powers, the catastrophe of Altamont right in their rear-view mirror, “Sister Morphine,” “Wild Horses,” “Brown Sugar,” an attention-getting album cover with a shot of a man’s crotch and an actual zipper—all of that courtesy of Andy Warhol, of course. In its own way Sticky Fingers is as 60s as anything that ever happened, even if it was released in April 1971.

That zipper would bring its own share of headaches—it made the album impossible to stack easily, leading to lots of scratched returns. Oh, and by the way, the album also featured the first-ever use of the Stones’ tongue logo, designed by John Pasche.
 
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If you want to see a megastar with a relaxed sangfroid that even Kanye West would envy, check out this suave letter to Andy Warhol getting him started on the Sticky Fingers project: “Here’s 2 boxes of material you can use, and the record.” Hilariously, Jagger warns him that extra elements in the cover design may lead to problems down the line, but then emphasizes, “I leave it in your capable hands to do what ever you want” before asking him, in so many words, where the truck should deposit the huge heaping mounds of cash. “A Mr.Al Steckler ... will probably look nervous and say ‘Hurry up’ but take little notice.”

In short, everything any designer would want from a client. World fame, money, creative freedom, and heedless to all consequences.
 
Mick Jagger to Andy Warhol
 
(via Letters of Note)

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Mick Jagger goes to the beach in astro-pervert hot pants, 1973
Mick Jagger just oozes sincerity!
Andy Warhol: The Velvet Underground and Nico 1966
Dennis Hopper’s screen test for Andy Warhol

Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.04.2013
05:06 pm
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Keith Haring discusses the mass marketing of his art
09.03.2013
10:22 am
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Keith Haring
Haring risking arrest to wish New Yorker’s a happy Valentine’s Day
 
Aired on January 20th, 1990, this French interview was recorded soon before Keith Haring’s death at age 31 from AIDS-related complications. Haring is warm and charismatic throughout, graciously venerating his peers and responding earnestly to questions about his decision to mass market his work.

While Haring’s art has certainly proved lucrative (some of his sweeter images even grace baby bibs nowadays, much of the income going to The Keith Haring Foundation for pediatric AIDS), he was an artist of the people, and originally opened his “Pop Shop” boutique to make his work available to “not only collectors, but kids from the Bronx.” Many critics thought this actually hurt his reputation with “serious” collectors (i.e. big money), since many were less interested in art so easily accessible to the hoi polloi.

In an awkward/endearing moment, the interviewer asks Haring how much his paintings actually sell for, to which Haring replies, “Now it’s ridiculous.” Upon further pressing, Haring says incredulously that some small drawings had recently sold for, ahem, $25,000, each. Apparently all those graffiti fines were actually a sound investment. And so would an investment be in a small Keith Haring original…
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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09.03.2013
10:22 am
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Happy Birthday Andy Warhol!
08.06.2013
12:37 pm
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The Pop Art genius was born on August 6, 1928 and died, prematurely, probably due to hospital incompetence after a routine gall bladder operation, on February 22, 1987 at the age of 58.

Here’s what Andy Warhol had to say about death:

I never understood why when you died, you didn’t just vanish, and everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn’t be there. I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name.

Well, actually, I’d like it to say “figment.”

I remember vividly when Andy Warhol died. As a New Yorker myself, it truly felt like it was the end of an era. After Warhol died, New York’s fabled nightlife took a nosedive (there were other important factors, too, like AIDS, of course). It wasn’t like you’d be able to see Warhol at a party, a fashion show, a nightclub or a restaurant ever again and think to yourself “Oh, Andy Warhol’s here. I must be in the very best party in Manhattan tonight.”

That was kind of what Warhol’s stamp of approval meant to New Yorkers. His presence alone made you feel cool. I met Warhol several times—as fate would have it, the first time was on the very day I moved to New York, at the Area nightclub. The infamous homicidal club kid king, Michael Alig, then a 18-year-old college student, asked me if I’d like to meet Andy Warhol. “Sure!” I replied and then Michael (who I had just met) proceeded to shove me—HARD, using both arms—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 see Warhol around every few weeks for the next couple of years.

When he died so suddenly, I cannot stress this enough, it was like a pall had come over the city. 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.”

Excerpt from “The World of Warhol” by Jesse Kornbluth, from the March 9, 1987 issue of New York Magazine.

The Figment Project, sponsored by the Andy Warhol Museum and EarthCam has a live look at the artist’s actual grave site in Pittsburgh today.

Below, art critic “Brian Badonde” (BAFTA-winner comedic genius Kyvan Novak) visits Bandy’s childhood home in Pittsburgh on Facejacker:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.06.2013
12:37 pm
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Tally Brown: Warhol associate & LGBT cult figure does best Bowie cover EVER
05.22.2013
03:47 pm
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At the time of her greatest notoriety in the 1960s and 70s, Julliard-trained blues singer Tally Brown was a zaftig bohemian cabaret artist associated with NY’s underground art scene, Warhol’s Factory and a performer at Reno Sweeny’s and the Continental Baths. Brown’s social circle included the Living Theatre, Holly Woodlawn, Taylor Mead, Grace Jones and Diane Arbus.

Her obituary in the New York Times described her as:

“A short, stout singer with wild black hair, Ms. Brown was known for her intense, dramatic renditions of songs by Kurt Weill, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie.”

Intense and dramatic she certainly was! Tally Brown was also good friends with Divine and often mistaken for the infamous drag queen/actor.
 

 
If it wasn’t for her appearances in a few of Warhol’s films, the 1974 cult classic schlockfest, Silent Night, Bloody Night and German director Rosa von Praunheim’s 1979 documentary Tally Brown, New York she would probably be long forgotten, but in fact, since her death in 1989 (mostly due to the von Praunheim film) she’s become a bit of an LGBT cult figure. (Another obscure film that Brown was in, Wynn Chamberlain’s Brand X has been getting a second life in recent years)
 

Above, Mick Ronson behind Tally Brown as David Bowie looks on from left.

Here’s a link to Tally Brown’s rendition of Bowie’s “Lady Grinning Soul” with the lyrics changed to the first person.

In the clip below, from the opening of Tally Brown, New York, the aging diva sings Bowie’s “Heroes” as the camera very, very slowly creeps up close enough to see her face. This gets pretty amazing, so stay with it. Are these not the very best Bowie covers you have ever heard???
 

 
Thank you very kindly Spencer Kansa!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.22.2013
03:47 pm
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Warhol Superstar and Beatnik poet, Taylor Mead RIP
05.09.2013
05:21 pm
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Sad to hear that Taylor Mead, underground movie star, Lower East Side fixture, bon vivant, Warhol Superstar, poet, feeder of stray cats, teller of funny stories and sweet and charming old guy died yesterday in Colorado at the ripe old age of 88.

A gay icon who was never in the closet, Mead was the subject of a documentary Excavating Taylor Mead, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005. Mead had been in the news recently over his travails with his landlord.
 

Above, Marcel Duchamp, Ultra Violet and Taylor Mead, 1967
 
Below, Taylor Mead, Craig Vandenberg and Candy Darling in Anton Perich’s short film Candy and Daddy:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.09.2013
05:21 pm
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‘1984: Music for Modern Americans’: An animated film by artist Eduardo Paolozzi
04.12.2013
08:20 pm
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J. G. Ballard once said, if by some terrible calamity all art from the 20th century was destroyed except for the work of one artist, then it would be possible to recreate all of the century’s greatest artistic developments if that artist was Eduardo Paolozzi.

Deliberate hyperbole, but there is an essence of truth here, as Paolozzi produced such an incredible range and diversity of art that it has been difficult for critics and art historians to classify him. He began as a Surrealist, before becoming the first Pop Artist—a decade before Warhol put paint on canvas. He then moved on to print-making, design, sculpture and public art to international success.

Born in Edinburgh, to an Italian family in 1924, Paolozzi spent much of his childhood at his parent’s ice cream parlor, where he was surrounded by the packaging, wrapping and cigarette cards that later inspired his Pop Art. This early idyll of childhood was abruptly ended when Italy declared war on Britain in 1940. Paolozzi awoke one morning to find himself, along with his father and uncles, incarcerated, in the city’s Saughton Prison, as undesirables, or enemies of the state. Paolozzi was held for 3 months, but his father and uncles were deported to Canada on the ship HMS Arandora Star, which was torpedoed by a U-boat off the north-west coast of Ireland. The vessel sank with the loss of 630 lives.

Considered psychologically unsuitable for the army, the teenage Paolozzi studied at the Edinburgh School of Art, in 1943, before finishing at the Slade School in London, which he found disappointingly conservative in its approach to art.

After the war, Paolozzi moved briefly to Paris where he visited some of the century’s greatest artists, then resident in the city—Giacometti, Braque, Arp, Brâncuşi, and Léger. In his youthful boldness, Eduardo had telephoned each of these artists after discovering their numbers in the telephone directory. He was greeted as an equal, he later claimed, most probably because the war had just ended. The experience taught Paolozzi much, and emboldened his ideas. On his return to London, Paolozzi presented a slide show of adverts and packaging, which was the very first Pop Art.

Paolozzi developed his distinctive collages and multiple images of Marilyn Monroe long before Warhol and even Richard Hamilton, the artist with whom he showed at the now legendary This Is Tomorrow exhibition, at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1956.

Paolozzi eventually tired of his association with Pop Art, as it limited his incredibly diverse artistic vision. The same year as This Is Tomorrow, he played a deaf mute, with fellow artist Michael Andrews, in the first major Free Cinema movie Together by Lorenza Mazzetti.

By the late 1950s, he had moved on to industrial print-making,  before producing an incredibly awe-inspiring range of designs for buildings, sculptures and public art—from his mosaic for Tottenham Court Road tube station to the cover of Paul McCartney’s Red Rose Speedway, through to such epic sculptures Newton, outside of the British Library, Vulcan, Edinburgh, and Head of Invention, Design Museum, London.

In 1984, Paolozzi conceived and produced a brief strange and surreal animation 1984: Music for Modern Americans, which was animated and directed by Emma Calder, Susan Young and Isabelle Perrichon, and based photocopies of Paolozzi’s original drawings.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.12.2013
08:20 pm
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Andy Warhol’s Index: A Pop Art, pop-up children’s book for druggy hipsters, 1967
02.26.2013
11:39 am
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Andy Warhol’s Index, the Pope of Pop’s mass-produced 1967 pop-up book has been described as a “children’s book for hipsters.” It’s an item seldom encountered these days outside of auction houses, or high end book dealers, but on occasion the item does, er, pop-up on eBay for a decent price. You can usually find several expensive copies on ABEbooks.com.

The prices can vary quite a bit: there’s a hardback version with a plastic lenticular cover vs a foil-printed paperback, and copies signed by Warhol, obviously, have quite a premium on them. The other factor in how dealers price the book, however, tends to be about how complete it is. Random House probably didn’t published too many of these to begin with, and obviously they were hand-made to a certain extent. Many of the goodies that were originally part of the package tend to have gotten lost over the decades, so a complete edition is difficult to come by and often very expensive (I’ve owned two copies of this myself, an incomplete hardback copy that I lost in a girlfriend “divorce” and the pristine, complete paperback I found for a shockingly low price at The Strand’s rare book room about fifteen years ago that’s sitting on a shelf behind me as I type this).

Whenever someone over to the house expresses an interest in my book collection, Andy Warhol’s Index is one of the first things I pull out. As you can see from this video below, it’s a pretty impressive item, with pop-up planes, accordions, Campbell’s soup cans, Edie, Lou, Nico, things you’re supposed to dunk into water, even a pop-up paper castle meant to stand-in for the infamous dwelling where visiting rock bands stayed when they were in Los Angeles in the 60s.

Contributors besides Warhol were David Paul, Stephen Shore, Billy Name, Nat Finkelstein, Paul Morissey, Ondine, Nico, Christopher Cerf, Alan Rinzler, Gerald Harrison and Akihito Shirakawa.
 
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The flexi disc of a 1966 Factory “Conversation” (Nico, Lou, Andy, John Cale and others talking about a mock-up of the book itself) is almost never found still in the binding. Listen below:
 

 
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The tear-off sheet to the right of Henry Geldzahler, the influential curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, above, was supposed to be dunked into a glass of water. Rumors were that it was blotter acid, but I think instead (I’ve never tried it) you got Warhol’s signature in invisible ink or it expanded like a sponge.
 
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Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.26.2013
11:39 am
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Great moments in man-hating: Valerie Solanas explains ‘digging chicks’ in Andy Warhols ‘I, A Man’
02.05.2013
09:34 am
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Author of the misandrist classic, SCUM Manifesto, and would-be assassin of Andy Warhol, Valerie Solanas is downright charming in his 1967 film, (presumably before she decided to shoot him).

The movie’s title is a parody of Swedish erotic film, I, A Woman, which Valerie, founder and sole member of the Society for Cutting Up Men, probably had fairly strong feelings about. From the manifesto:

Eaten up with guilt, shame, fears and insecurities and obtaining, if he’s lucky, a barely perceptible physical feeling, the male is, nonetheless, obsessed with screwing; he’ll swim a river of snot, wade nostril-deep through a mile of vomit, if he thinks there’ll be a friendly pussy awaiting him. He’ll screw a woman he despises, any snaggle-toothed hag, and, further, pay for the opportunity. Why? Relieving physical tension isn’t the answer, as masturbation suffices for that. It’s not ego satisfaction; that doesn’t explain screwing corpses and babies.

I wonder why the SCUM Men’s auxiliary never really took off…
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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02.05.2013
09:34 am
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Warhol’s ‘Get Smart’ art for TV Guide
01.27.2013
03:01 am
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TV guide commissioned Andy Warhol to design a cover and a series of fashion pages with Get Smart star Barbara Feldon using photographs by fashion photographer Roger Prigent.

Warhol certainly made the March 5th, 1966 issue of TV guide pop!
 
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Thanks Charles Lieurance.

Posted by Marc Campbell
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01.27.2013
03:01 am
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Andy Warhol’s ‘Chelsea Girls’: Watch the entire 3-hour film online
12.28.2012
03:21 pm
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The wild movie poster by famed illustrator Alan Aldridge

From the Dangerous Minds archive:

Chelsea Girls was Andy Warhol’s first “commercial” success as a filmmaker. Co-directed by Warhol and Paul Morrissey, the film consists of twelve improvised vignettes (two were semi-scripted by playwright Ronald Tavel) featuring the druggy, draggy, seemingly morally-bankrupt freaks who constituted Warhol’s entourage and inner circle.

The film was shot in summer and fall of 1966 in the Hotel Chelsea, at Warhol’s “Factory” studio and in the apartment where the Velvet Underground lived on 3rd Street. Brigid Berlin (“The Duchess”), Nico, Mario Montez, Ondine (“The Pope”), Ingrid Superstar, International Velvet, Rene Richard, Eric Emerson, Gerard Malanga, filmmaker Marie Menken, Ari Boulogne (Nico’s son) a gorgeous young Mary Woronov—who danced with the Velvet Underground as part of “The Exploding Plastic Inevitable”—and others are seen in the film’s three and a quarter-hour running time (the film un-spooled on 12 separate reels). Most cast members are listed by their own names as they were essentially playing themselves.

Chelsea Girls was booked into a prestigious 600 seat uptown theater in New York and actually distributed to theaters across the country. In 1966, it’s unlikely that middle America had any idea that people like this even existed. Cinema-goers in Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, San Diego and yes, even, Kansas City probably got their first exposure to actual drug addicts, yammering speed-freak narcissists, homosexuals, drag queens and a dominatrix when they watched Chelsea Girls. To Warhol’s delight, the film was even raided by the vice squad in Boston. The theater manager was arrested and later fined $2000 when a judge found him guilty of four charges of obscenity.

Movie critic Rex Reed said “Chelsea Girls is a three and a half hour cesspool of vulgarity and talentless confusion which is about as interesting as the inside of a toilet bowl.”

Tell us how you really feel, Rex!

The film was presented as a split screen, running simultaneously on two projectors with alternating soundtracks. It was a mixture of B&W and color footage. Edie Sedgwick’s vignette was removed from Chelsea Girls at her insistence, but was later known as “The Apartment.” A section originally screened with Chelsea Girls called “The Closet” (about two “children” who lived in one, with Nico and Randy Bourscheidt) was cut and later shown as a separate film.
 
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A young Roger Ebert reviewed it for The Chicago Sun-Times:

For what we have here is 3 1/2 hours of split-screen improvisation poorly photographed, hardly edited at all, employing perversion and sensation like chili sauce to disguise the aroma of the meal. Warhol has nothing to say and no technique to say it with. He simply wants to make movies, and he does: hours and hours of them. If “Chelsea Girls” had been the work of Joe Schultz of Chicago, even Warhol might have found it merely pathetic.

The key to understanding “Chelsea Girls,” and so many other products of the New York underground, is to realize that it depends upon a cult for its initial acceptance, and upon a great many provincial cult-aspirers for its commercial appeal. Because Warhol has become a social lion and the darling of the fashionable magazines, there are a great many otherwise sensible people in New York who are hesitant to bring their critical taste to bear upon his work. They make allowances for Andy that they wouldn’t make for just anybody, because Andy has his own bag and they don’t understand it but they think they should

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Ebert hits the nail squarely on the head. Chelsea Girls is actually a fucking terrible “movie.” If you view it as “art” or even as an important cultural artifact of the Sixties (it’s both) then you can give it a pass, and should, but if you’re expecting to be “entertained,” you need to re-calibrate your expectations. Only a few parts of the film are actually engaging (Ondine’s speed-freak monologues; Brigid Berlin poking herself with speed; the “Hanoi Hannah” section with Mary Woronov) the rest of it is… boring.

It looks good and parts of it are “interesting” because you can only hear what’s happening on one side of the split screen and so the silent side becomes somehow more intriguing, but, oh yeah, this is a boring thing to watch. It’s still cool, but yeah it’s boring, if that makes any sense.

Chelsea Girls has been next to impossible to see since its original releaseat least until it got uploaded to YouTube—usually screening just a few times a year around the globe. I caught it myself in the (appropriately) sleazy surroundings of London’s legendary Scala Cinema in 1984. There were probably six people there, including me. I admit to falling asleep for a bit of it, but I think everyone probably does.
 
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This video comes from an Italian DVD that was given a very limited released in 2003. Probably the best way to watch this is to hook your computer to your flatscreen and do something else, sort of half paying attention, while Chelsea Girls is on in the background.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.28.2012
03:21 pm
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Happy birthday Jean-Michel Basquiat: ‘Radiant Child’ documentary in full
12.22.2012
03:18 pm
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Feverishly prolific New York graf-based expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat would have turned 52 today. That fact jars us because of the inevitable Peter Pan myth that accompanies the premature death of any young artist in any discipline.

Though I hate to pursue it, does it depress us to imagine a middle-aged JMB? Would he be still cocooned and slickly dressed, and now entrenched and heavily sponsored downtown, or maybe bugged-out HR-from-Bad-Brains style, redolent in gray dreads, pursued often and obtained for the occasional commission in order to keep up his paranoid existence in who-knows-where?

Of course, Basquiat’s influence dwarfs the downtown New York art scene in the way that he embodied the New York mix of hip-hop, post-punk, and fashion. But our culture also tends to rely on him in an unspoken way as a kind of purified representation of redundant cliches like doomed youth, avant-garde blackness, and the price of fame. We do best to remember each of those features as part of him—and separately, we do best to remember Basquiat as Basquiat.

In that spirit, we draw your attention to Tamra Davis’s excellent documentary, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Radiant Child, kindly uploaded to YouTube for the budget-minded…
 

 
Thanks to the excellent musician Aybee Deepblak...

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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12.22.2012
03:18 pm
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Blonde on a Bum Trip: Andy Warhol, Candy Darling and Jane Fonda, early 70s
12.18.2012
04:55 pm
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Early 70s BBC clip of Andy Warhol, pioneering transsexual actress Candy Darling, Jane Fonda and several hangers-on, including Factory regular Eric Emerson, on a boat during a farewell party for Fonda.

A part of this was used in Beautiful Darling, the superb 2011 documentary about Candy Darling. We posted here at DM in advance of the film’s release, but I didn’t actually see it until last week and I really loved it. Beautiful Darling is a terrific film, extremely well-researched and co-produced by Darling’s best friend and roommate, Jeremiah Newton. Highly recommended.

(I just noticed that they are selling a special NARS “Andy Warhol Limited Edition Beautiful Darling” cosmetics bag with Candy Darling’s picture on it on Amazon).
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.18.2012
04:55 pm
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Christ versus Warhol: Teardrop Explodes b-side a post-punk gem
12.13.2012
08:41 pm
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The Last Supper (detail) Andy Warhol, 1986

It may be an obscure Teardrop Explodes b-side, but I think you’ll agree that “Christ versus Warhol” should be in the running for the “Greatest Song Title of All Time Award.”

The brooding flip of 1981’s “Passionate Friend” single. In my eyes Julian Cope can do no wrong, but this song is a stunner. Long live the Arch-Drude!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.13.2012
08:41 pm
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