Day: February 20th, 2007

Factory Girl redux

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007 | All Things, Arts

February 22 marks the twentieth anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death, and to commemorate, The Carrozini von Buhler Gallery presents Andy Warhol: In His Wake, a group tribute exhibition of works by artists from Warhol’s Factory, artists who documented Warhol, and several who have been influenced by him. Through March 14, the MePa gallery will be transformed to recall Warhol’s infamous Silver Factory with aluminum foil and silver paint, disco mirror balls, mylar balloons, and silver tinsel streamer drapes.

Warhol Exhibit

William John Kennedy‘s trippy photographs of Warhol standing in a field of black-eyed susans succeeded in capturing a more private, vulnerable side of the artist, revealing a hippie-esque quality to Warhol that belies the artist’s known obsession with modern machinery.

Warhol Exhibit

Visual artist, illustrator, children’s book author, performer and gallery owner Cynthia von Buhler oversaw the festivities and stole the show with her tongue-in-cheek work. In a room accessible via a cut-out wooden door was a kinetic arcade of interactive sculptures, paintings and machines. The “Little Blast-O-Past” touts itself as a “Super Memory Inducing Dispenser.” The “Cynth-O-Matic” vending machine celebrates celebrity and commerce by dispensing plastic capsules containing actual samples taken from the artist’s body (menstrual blood, pubic hair, eyelashes, nail clippings, etc. Ick.)

Warhol Exhibit

Cynth-O-Matic

In the main gallery space, von Buhler depicts Warhol’s disembodied mannequin head inside a fortune-telling machine (a la Zoltar in Big.) Her “Self-Portrait as Saint Sebastian (aka Self-less, She Who Has No Self)” explores the ways in which women are brought up differently from men, and the impact the differences have on their confidence and life goals. The provocative sculpture depicts a nude martyred woman, staring up in reverence at a glowing bottle of Mr. Clean — a Warholian altar of ironic product worship.

Just adjacent, a framed photograph of Andy Warhol and Rob Halford (Judas Priest) by British-born rock photographer Steve Joester.

Warhol Exhibit

Joester also had on display a pair of collages of Warhol and Mick Jagger, in an obvious tribute to Warhol’s style, and perhaps to Jagger, who was a frequent visitor of the Factory in its heyday.

Black and white¬†photographs and colorful, Warhol-influenced art covered the walls as revelers of all ages mixed and mingled. I spied Factory artists Billy Name (in-house photographer and designer of the Factory), Ultra Violet (hard to miss with her shock of purple hair), and Ivy Nicholson (pictured below), who was a celebrated fashion model before she joined up with the original 231 East 47th Street Factory in 1964 to become one of Warhol’s starlets. (Subsequent Factory locations include 860 Broadway, near Union Square — now a Petco.)

Ivy Nicholson

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