Andy Warhol’s death left us wondering how the quintessential Pop artist would have reacted, or shaped, a society that fulfilled his prophesy of universal, albeit short-lived, fame. But aside from speculating what he would have thought of Rebecca Black, his passing left a hole in New York City nightlife. His friend, author Tama Janowitz, said “The ’80s died in Manhattan in 1987, along with Andy Warhol,” and Michael Musto famously declared the death of the Downtown scene in the Village Voice. No longer could kids from the Midwest escape to the best parties in New York, trying to spot Andy’s silver wig in a crowd.
Thomas Kiedrowski’s new book, Andy Warhol’s New York City, speaks to the nostalgia this generation feels for the days of Superstars and silver clouds. At the book release party last night, Kiedrowski remembered how he would forgo the natural tourist traps when he visited New York in his youth, instead opting to visit Warhol landmarks to get a taste of the Prince of Pop’s metropolis.
The party last night also saw the premiere of a new Warholian video art project. Brooklyn-based artist and editor-in-chief of Useless magazine Conrad Ventur rehashed Andy Warhol’s famous screen tests two years ago in a piece entitled 13 Most Beautiful/Screen Tests Revisited originally shown at the Andy Warhol Museum and recently screened at MoMA. Approximating the lighting, blocking and playback speed, Ventur filmed thirteen former Factory Superstars decades after their original film portraits including UltraViolet, Ivy Nicholson and Beck’s mother Bibbe Hansen, who was in attendance last night, shielding her eyes in Ray-Ban’s.
Ventur has conceptually expanded on this project in this new series, which debuted last night in the VIP rooms of the party. Untitled (Night Life) is comprised of fourteen new screen tests with new subjects plucked from New York’s contemporary nightlife scene, a group that Columbia sociologist Victor P. Corona posits as the third-wave of Warholian Superstars (the second being Michael Alig’s Club Kids). Tommy Hottpants, Veronica Ibarra and Darian Darling (a host of last night’s festivities, her narrow frame wrapped in a bright red dress) are just some of the gorgeous faces that mug for their black-and-white portraits in Ventur’s new piece.
Where 13 Most Beautiful/Screen Tests Revisited was infused with nostalgia and perhaps a bit too reactionary to make an impact, this continuation of the idea offers a refreshing play on the old concept and ushers in a new reign of fame monsters, and a new interpretation of Warholian art history. Like Andy’s videos of Edie, Nico, Candy Darling and the likes, Ventur’s revamped vamps will hopefully survive as an archive for New York City’s post-Warhol nightlife of the twenty first century.
Special Edition: 🖌️Artists’ Signatures ✍️
In this special edition, we investigate what artists’ signatures actually mean, and the fascinating results reveal the multifaceted history of this curious phenomenon.
What Is a Signature in the Internet Age?
As a cryptographic unit for record-keeping, an NFT can be seen as analogous to a signature or an autograph.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
The Meaning of Ancient Greek and Roman Artisan Signatures
What did a signature mean in the ancient world, and how much can we trust what they seem to tell us?
Michelangelo’s Signature and the Myth of Genius
Michelangelo served as a stellar example for future artists who sought status and economic independence.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
Uncovering the Photographer Behind Arshile Gorky’s Most Famous Painting
As we pursue photographer Hovhannes Avedaghayan a fascinating picture begins to emerge of him and the world of which he was part.
100 Years of Artist Signatures in a Detroit Club
The beams in Detroit’s Scarab Club act as a guest book of sorts, carrying a wealth of stories and history, including signatures by Diego Rivera, Marcel Duchamp, Margaret Bourke-White, Isamu Noguchi, and others.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
The Myth of Agency Around Artists’ Signatures
In an art world built on shifting sands, artists’ signatures become symbols of agency for some, and relics of the past for others.
The Women Artists Commemorated on an NYC Sidewalk
The signatures of Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, and six other historical women artists are engraved on a small stretch of sidewalk on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Met Museum Repatriates 15 Objects to India
The sculptures were all at one point sold by the disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova Placed on Russian “Wanted” List
Tolokonnikova has long been a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin’s regime.