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Eighty-five years ago today, Andrej Varhola, Jr., was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He would go on to become the famous Andy Warhol, whose artwork decorates the walls of museums and, most recently, Perrier bottles.
In honor of his birthday, the Andy Warhol Museum, in collaboration with EarthCam, has set up a live feed of the artist’s grave, starting today. On the page for the project, titled “Figment,” you can watch shiny “happy birthday” balloons wave in the wind above a small patch of flowers, and American flags flutter at nearby graves marked with appropriately Eastern European–sounding names like Jaczesko (and in the background, Warhola — likely his parents). You can hear cars roll by and birds chirp in the distance.
At first, the only people we saw were a two-man clean-up crew clearing stray pieces of trash from the site. But not long after, another duo arrived, also two men, who were clearly there in celebration of Warhol: they yelled “hi,” waved at the camera repeatedly, and the older one took out his cell phone and placed a call. He spoke for a while as the younger one walked his dog around to the front of the grave, picking up its paw to make it wave at viewers, and then danced off camera with leash in hand, singing “Da da da da da!” Then, after a few minutes of chatting and pacing around, the older man asked into the phone, “Can we leave now?” And they did, trailing a perfect picture of Warholian weirdness and kitsch behind them.
Otherwise, things at the grave have been quiet. The stillness feels both alien — the Factory! the parties! — and appropriate, like watching Empire, or any of his other “boring” films, and waiting vigilantly for something to happen.
If you feel like watching the stream, it’s over on the Andy Warhol Museum’s website.
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