In March of 2019, I attended a fun event-thing called the Barbie 60th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience, which was just insane. Imagine being wedged into a crowded labyrinth of bright lights, neon colors, and every type of Barbie-branded doll in the universe, including Gender-Nonconforming Barbie and Dad-Bod Ken. Now, add little kids with their parents, and millennial Instagram-whores, and you’re got an idea of the scenario that I consider myself lucky to have survived with my sanity intact. Still: super fun!
While I saw literally hundreds of Barbies that day, the one that I will surely never forget is this Pink Mink Stole-draped plastic goddess known as the Andy Warhol Barbie. Here’s why: this Barbie (the third such doll produced in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation) is the definitive celebration of Warhol, drawing inspiration from the original Warhol Barbie portrait created by the artist in 1986. Barbie’s strapless gown features a sweetheart neckline and an overall print of the Warhol Barbie Portrait (you can see a few details of Barbie’s face on the dress if you look closely at the above photo). Beyond the fabulous Pink faux fur stole with blue lining, the doll’s accessories also include blue pumps accented with glitter inspired by Warhol’s technique of “diamond dust” crushed glass on canvas, earrings, necklace, ring and doll stand. Rad.
Sadly I could not capture details of the glittery shoes, as Andy Warhol Barbie was encased in a vitrine, to protect her from molestation. The statement to the left of Barbie’s face in the above photo reads as follows:
Andy Warhol made his mark by creating images of American icons. Barbie was added to the list when Warhol painted her in 1986. The first Barbie portrait was reportedly inspired by Warhol’s muse, Billy Boy, a jewelry designer and member of new York downtown scene in the 1980s, who owned a vast collection of Barbie dolls.
The Souper Dress, inspired by the iconic Campbell Soup Cans series by Andy Warhol, was imagined and produced by the Campbell Soup Company as a mail order offer and as an effective advertising campaign when paper dresses were all the rage in the 1960s. Two labels from any different variety of Campbell’s Vegetable Soups and $1.00 got you the dress.
The Souper Dress is a classic example where fashion, art and industry intersect into one image. The paper dress captures to perfection the vibrant, youthful, optimistic and consumerist zeitgeist of America in the 1960s . This, then, disposable A-line dress made of screen-printed tissue, wood pulp and rayon mesh with binding tape, is printed with the Campbell’s Soup red, black and white labels. At the back of the neckline is attached the original label that reads: “The Souper Dress/No Cleaning/ No Washing/ It’s carefree fire resistant unless washed or cleaned/To refreshen, press lightly with warm iron/80% Cellulose, 20% Cotton.” Examples of The Souper Dress is excellent condition can sell for as msuch as $8,000 at auction.
Photographed as part of The Exhibit Camp: Notes on Fashion, on View Through September 8th, 2019 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
New Photo added January 12, 2020, as this dress is currently displayed in the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on through May 17th, 2020.
These porcelain-enameled steel panels once clad the exterior of Best Productscatalogue showroom in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Featuring a cheery floral pattern, they evoke both mass-market chintz textiles and Pop artist Andy Warhol’s silkscreened canvases. The building’s billboard-scale graphics and signage made it highly visible from the roadway — an improbable meadow springing from a suburban parking lot. During the 1970s, Best Products‘ founders commissioned firms like Venturi and Rauch, and SITE (Sculpture in the Environment) to design architecturally novel, often whimsical showrooms that set the chain apart from its competitors.
Installation View: Best Products Showroom Exterior
The ornamental big-box store exemplifies the postmodern architectural concept of the “decorated shed,” introduced by Venturi and Scott Brown — Robert Venturi’s firm with his wife, Denise Scott Brown — (with co-author Steven Izenour) in Learning from Las Vegas, their influential 1972 text on the built environment. The decorated shed describes any generic structure that relies on applied ornament and signs to convey its purpose.
It’s hard to believe that Eduardo Kobra’s Mount Rushmore of Art mural has been up for five months already, and it took me that long to photograph it in its finished state; but that what I finally had the chance to do on Easter Sunday, when I went for walk on the High Line.
Located at 10th Avenue and 22nd Street, directly above the often-shuttered-and-reopened Empire Diner, I happened to be in that neighborhood on November 3rd, 2018, while Kobra and his team worked on monumental piece, detailing the likenesses of four contemporary art legends: Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I was able to take a few photos of the mural as a work-in-progress on the afternoon, so I thought it would be fun to share them alongside photos of the completed mural, which takes its name from the monument located in South Dakota, swapping out US Presidents for North American Artists.
Finishing touches are added to the face of Keith Haring (1958 – 1990). Frida Kahlo’s beautiful face seems to be completed at this point. She lived from 1907 to 1954.
Kobra works on the face of Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987). The Dollar Sign visible under Warhol’s likeness, which is a motif from his artworks, has been replaced in the finished mural by a dinosaur wearing crown: an image popularized by Basquiat, who was a disciple of Warhol.
This mural was completed in collaboration with HG Contemporary Galleryin NYC.
Andy Warhol based his Mao paintings, drawings, lithographs, photocopy prints, and wallpaper on the same image: a painting by Zhang Zhenshi that served as the frontispiece for Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (known in the “West as The Little Red Book”) and was then thought to be the most widely reproduced artwork in the world. Warhol chose the image of Mao — then chairman of the Chinese Communist Party — after reading news coverage of President Richard Nixon’s trip to the People’s Republic of China in February of 1972, an unprecedented act of cold war diplomacy that marked the first act by a sitting American president to the nation, which at the tie was considered an enemy of the state.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, at the Whitney Museum of American Art Through March 31st, 2019.
A hybrid of Pop and Minimalist aesthetics, this stacked sculpture, Mylar and Plexiglass Construction (1970) relates to Andy Warhol’s Mylar Silver Clouds from 1966 and extends his interest in seriality, color and the readymade into three-dimensional space.
Mylar Rolls, Detail
Comprised of six rolls of colored mylar on cardboard tubes, mounted in a Plexiglass case, the work offers a rare glimpse into a mode of artistic production that, for whatever reason, Warhol chose not to pursue further.
Photographed as Part Of the Exhibit, Andy Warhol: From A to B And Back Again, at The Whitney Museum in NYC Through March 31, 2019.
If you happen to be planning an outing to the Whitney Museum to see the new Andy Warhol exhibit, From A to B And Back Again, why not make a day of it: do some shopping, walk the High Line, enjoy a delicious lunch at Bubby’s, and stop by the outdoor Plaza at the Standard Hotel to check out their amazing Psychedelic Christmas Tree Forest!
As you can see, these trees are decorated with oversize sweets such as Gummy Bears, Candy Canes and Gum Drops! Fun!
While you stroll among the trees and take assloads of selfies for your Instagram feed, you can also enjoy a hot beverage!
Find This Forest of Colorful Holiday Trees at The Standard Hotel Plaza, Located at 848 Washington at 13th Street, New York 10014
This Mona Lisa (1963) is one of the earliest works for which Andy Warhol employed silk-screening, the printing process that he adopted in 1962 to quickly and easily make multiple copies of preexisting images. Here, he revels in the rat of duplication. By replicating a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting Mona Lisa four times in two different ways, the artist reduces a masterwork epitomizing traditional notions of artistic genius and authorship to a pale shadow of its former self. Warhol’s Mona Lisa was donated to The Met by his friend Henry Geldzahler, the Museum’s founding curator of contemporary art. One year before Geldzahler made his gift, Warhol released he film Henry Geldzahler, which consists solely of ninety-seven minutes of footage of the curator smoking a cigar.Photographed in The Met in NYC.
This bright Pink Wig, which I stopped to snap while walking south on 8th Avenue near Madison Square Garden, reminded me immediately of the crazy, disheveled fright wig that Andy Warhol famously sported in his later years. I’m picturing it on Andy’s head even as I type this.
Spotted in the window of Mane Beautify Supply, located at 412 8th Avenue between 30th & 31st Streeta, New York, NY 10001.
The catalyst for Andy Warhol’s transformation from commercial to fine artist was a 1961 display window that he created for the Bonwit Teller Department Store at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street. The window displayed five of Warhol’s newest paintings as a backdrop to mannequins wearing Bonwit’s fashions. Representing Warhol’s first foray into what would become Pop Art, these paintings depicted commercial imagery from ads and comics, overlaid with gestural drips and blotches of Abstract Expressionism. The Bonwit window introduced Warhol’s characteristic practice of elevating pop culture into fine art that he continued to explore for the rest of his career.
Photographed as part of the Gay Gotham Exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.