“Something of no lasting significance: paper items (such as posters, brochures, and postcards) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles.”
“Born Andrew Warhola (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture.”
In the last two years, I’ve someone rearranged my life as an artist. I sold my NYC apartment, bought a converted gas station 2 hours north west of the city as my studio, shop, gallery and archive. Initially, I was just going to show my own work in @Gallery_52, but I had the idea to mount Warhol Ephemera, oblivious to the fact that this is the fall of Andy Warhol. A theater production, A Debate with 3 Andy Warhols, a new retrospective at the Whitney From A to B and Back Again as well as the release of 130,000 photos shot by Warhol and a new book by Peggy Phelan and Richard Meyer, arts professors at Stanford University, California, which acquired the archive from the Warhol Foundation, Contact Warhol. (After combing through the contacts, I found pictures he shot of me I never saw. *See below.)
I first met Andy in 1979 in Houston at a signing for his book Exposures where he drew my lips and wrote “To Trey Love Andy Warhol“. We met again at the re-opening of Studio 54 in 1981 and many times after that. He had a crush on my then boyfriend, the art director of Fiorucci, and our friend Benjamin Liu worked for Andy until his death. His career by the mid-80s was in a slump and he preferred the company of younger artists like my friends Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and someone I knew, but not well, Jean Michel Basquiat.
In the catalogue for the show, I tell the stories of how I managed to collect various ephemera along the way, like how I accidentally designed his gravestone. (You can read the full story here and in Catherine Johnson‘s book Thank You Andy Warhol)
I didn’t realize how much I had collected until I started to install the show, which included a wall of scores tear sheets, may obits after Andy suddenly left the planet in his sleep after gall bladder surgery at age 58. He would have been 90 this August.
Below are shots from the installation, spreads from the catalogue and pics from the closing Halloween party where (most) everyone came as their favorite dead celebrity. (I’m pictured with best pal, Liz Taylor.) The winner was the husband of my longtime assistant, Amy Paschall Mauro, Ben Mauro as Bob Ross. The first prize was a paint by number original I made using the Polaroid I shot of Andy as the template.
You can hear more about the show, Warhol and other various stuff in author and artist Danielle Krysa‘s third podcast with me Art For Your Ears. She’s currency touring the country with her latest A Big Important Art Book (Now with Women).
You can get the catalogue from Warhol Ephemera, a t-shirts and various Warhol-related items at The RePop Shop in Jeffersonville, NY and on my website, here.
FYI: My old friend, the brilliant illustrator, Robert Risko (who worked for Andy at Interview) does THE best impression of Warhol ever. I can’t embed but I think you can see it here.