Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Prize of Pittsburgh
Post Traumatic G-20 Summit Syndrome
Pittsburg PA is a lovely town reminiscent of other post industrial cities that are actually shrinking in size and, though not immune to the economic melt-down, seemingly less affected than places like Miami, Las Vegas and others. While NYC is in a state of shock and contraction, the birthplace of Andy Warhol is relatively sound and celebrity free.
Hall of Hispanic Fama
Roberto Walker Clemente. With a name like that and a bat swing like king kong, he is the prize of pittsburgh. Here is a photo of an enormous bronze adorning the baseball field downtown, a giant among men and a Hispanic for all seasons.
But not all art in public places is quite so epic and commanding. Just a few steps from the magnificent Clemente is this weird marble thing with what appears to be naked workmen having head-aches. It hurts just to look.
As with most things of money today, it is the corporate sponsors that hold the OPM to get things done. Andy Warhol understood this years ago and single-handedly re-educated the corporate Joe mentality to accommodate new ways of thinking about art, it's people... and branding. This giant painting is a collaboration of Warhol and Basquait, two giants who energized chemistry of the art world.
Ans so it is that we celebrate 100 years of Synthetic Rubber with the collaboration of The Andy Warhol Museum, Lanxess Rubber Corporation and artist team Ryan Alexiev and Hank Willis Thomas. Ryan and Hanks are the winners of a competition to create a work of art for the occasion of 100 year history of Unnatural Rubber. Laxess claims to be 'energizing chemistry' and indeed their sponsorship has been energizing to this artist memory of Andy Warhol, my Art Father.
Will Work for Play
The Warhol Museum is an impressive institution and a fitting tribute to Andy's legacy.
There is a bounty of artworks to enjoy and many displays of memorabilia. The caption for this photo reads "we started the magazine so we would get invites to the premiers". Kinda like opening a gallery so we can get free grolsh beer.
The winning artwork is a graphical representation of the data turned 3-D showing the exponential growth of synthetic rubber from 1909 through 2009. I wonder how things are going in Manaus, Brazil home of natural rubber.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Their dreams are a fabricators reality. Here is the bell in production at my studio. American marble aka styrofoam is the closest thing to conceptual clay available. It's mostly air and very forgiving.
Black is the New Green
Here is the artwork after buckets of MicroRubber coating made from your recycled tires.
Rim with Bling
Here is the center-piece of the sculpture in nowheresville North Miami getting pimped with Mirra-Krome. People like shiny round things...
Wheel of Fortune
Here is a snapshot of the "Wheel of Fortune" on display at the Warhol till January 2010. It is scheduled to travel around the world to remind folks of the power of chemicals.
The Warhol also provides the public with exhibitions of other artists work. Currently they have a show by uber-controversial Shepard Fairey the "street artist" from RISD and Obama Poster Fame. More on him later.
I met Warhol in the mid 80's when he befriended my pals Keith Haring, Jean Michel Baquait and Kenny Scharf. These fellas are the three musketeers of the East Village Art Explosion that Andy had built a foundation for. Their collective cautionary contribution to the art mindset is immeasurable in a world gone celebrity crazy.
Even republican twitty Cindy McCain understands the power of Celebrity that Warhol espoused perfectly so each of us would feel entitled to 15 minutes of fame.