North Side: The Andy Warhol Museum
Andy Warhol BORN: 6 August 1928.(8) DIED: 22 February 1987.(9) BURIED: St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church Cemetery, Castle Shannon.(10)
- The Andy Warhol Museum.
The collections of The Andy Warhol Museum include drawings, prints, paintings, sculpture, film, audio and video tapes, and an extensive archives which consists of ephemera, records, source material for works of art, and other documents of the artist's life. Together the art and archives make The Andy Warhol Museum the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world.
Over the course of his career, Andy Warhol transformed contemporary art. The power of his work comes from its concentration on fundamental human themes--the beauty and glamour of youth and fame, the passing of time, and the presence of death. Employing mass-production techniques to create works, Warhol challenged preconceived notions about the nature of art and erased traditional distinctions between fine art and popular culture. (14)
- The 'Real' Andy Warhol Drops In at Pitt.
Carnegie Tech's most celebrated dropout dropped in last week, not, as it happened, at his alma mater, but at the University of Pittsburgh.
Andy Warhol, the impressario of the Velvet Underground, the painter laureate of the Campbell's Soup can, and the avant-gardsman of "Chelsea Girls," and other naughty films, appeared last Tuesday before a SRO crowd in the Student Union ballroom.
For an hour the crowd sat in darkness watching excerpts from Warhol's new 25-hour movie, "Stars." It was a dazzlingly pointless affair, in kaleidoscopic color, filled with double exposed images and muddled dialogue, rambling through episodes of sex and drugs until it concluded with a long scene in which a twitching young man delivered a halting but surprisingly eloquent denunciation of the Vietnam war.
Then Andy, accompanied by two "collaborators"--a modly dressed young man named Paul Morrissey and a strikingly beautiful girl named "Viva"--stepped to the podium to answer questions.
What followed might be best described as a mutual put-on, with the audience and the Warhol trio competing for the upper hand. There was even a question whether Andy himself was a put-on.
"How do we know that's the real Andy Warhol," asked one student.
Morrissey answered that one, assuring the audience that they were indeed looking at the real Warhol. Later, Morrissey explained that on several previous college appearances, Andy had been represented by a look-alike stand-in. "Andy's very shy," he said.
Andy himself, real or not, did little more than stand-in. A slight, almost frail-looking person with tousled gray hair growing long over his ears, he stood quietly, peering distantly through dark sunglasses. Even when he did answer questions he hardly spoke at all.
"Isn't it true you are from here," asked one student.
"No," replied Warhol. "I'm from Philadelphia."
"Is it true you failed to graduate from Carnegie Tech because you failed to take physical education," asked another.
"Yes," said Andy.
"Why did you come here," came another question.
"I don't know," said Andy.
"Why did you take up films?"
"I bought a camera."
Another questioner asked Andy to say "a few words" about his film, "My Hustler." He did just that.
"We made it in an afternoon. It takes an hour and forty minutes. It's two reels. It was very easy."
Many of the questions were answered either by Morrissey or by Viva, who more than made up for what Andy may have lacked in talent for repartee.
To one questioner, who said he had seen "Chelsea Girls" and "didn't see anything," she suggested that "you get your eyes checked; you may need glasses."
Another questioner, pointed out by Viva as "this young Hippie," stood up to ask "Does Nico go both ways?" (Nico, for the uninitiated, is a singer in the Velvet Underground, acted in "Chelsea Girls," etc.)
"I don't know," replied Viva. "For two months she never came my way. Maybe that's the third way. Why do you ask?"
"I'm perverted," answered the Hippie.
Several questions later Viva returned to that subject and observed that "as far as I know Andy doesn't go either of the three ways--we think he's a priest."
Several students asked technical questions about the film they had just seen. One wanted to know how many seconds elapsed between words on the sound track and the obviously out-of-phase images on the screen.
"It's not synchronized," answered Morrissey. "It's a bad print."
Answering another question, Morrissey explained that the film had not been edited, but that sections of it had been superimposed over one another "so we could show it all."
"Do drugs help the appreciation of art," asked a student.
"The kids in the movie just turned on for the camera," replied Morrissey. "Drugs is a dead issue now," he went on. "It's sort of like alcohol and vitamins. The drug thing is a little corny, but the film shows a little what it was like in 1967."
Another student wanted to know what the Warhol film makers did for money, and Viva took over again.
"I've got a sugar daddy," she said. "Andy has a few paintings he sells. But it's hard. I have dinner with a lot of people. I don't know how I keep my figure."
About that time the questions and answers began to get out of hand, and Morrissey stepped in to terminate the encounter.
"We hope you've been satisfied," he said. "We wanted to show you what we do and tell you that we don't have anything to say." (15)
- When a classmate asked him about his life's ambition, Andy replied that he wanted to teach children how to play. (16)