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Andy Warhol’s New York
"Art is everything you can get away with," Andy Warhol is said to have laughed once - although most of the original lines ascribed to the media theorist Marshall McLuhan. Either way, Warhol got away with a lot under the guise of art, as we know, and changed the way we looked at it, thought about it, and experienced it. For Luminary, New York City was a form of art - a canvas, a medium and inspiration.
Warhol moved from his hometown of Pittsburgh to New York in 1949 to embark on a career as a commercial illustrator, and discovered a city where outcasts could become superstars, art could be found in department stores, and nothing was ever what it seemed (except it was). The mark Warhol left in New York lingers on, mirroring in many ways those he left in culture, blurring the lines we still have between high and low, mainstream and rare, local and tourist pull. In fact, one of Warhol's great contrary lessons about New York is that although he called the Upper East Side home for nearly four decades, he never stopped living like a visitor. For him, that was a condition that we should all strive for: to be able to look at the world - including the familiar - in a new way.
Visit these places to see NYC the Andy's way.
18 E. 77th Street, 212-249-4470, Upper East Side, Manhattan; 24 W. 40th St., 212-249-4470, Midtown West, Manhattan
Leo Castelli didn't invent pop art, but he helped make it a big business. The Castelli Gallery, which opened in his Upper East Side apartment in 1957, quickly became a household name for representing the pioneering American artists Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and the like. The gallery also looked into Warhol, but it almost didn't happen. In 1960, at the suggestion of his gallery manager Ivan Karp, Castelli visited Warhol's studio to see some of the artist's comic-inspired works. Castelli thought the paintings were too close to the works of Lichtenstein, whom the gallery already represented, and decided to reject them. He came to represent Warhol in 1964 and subsequently showed some of Warhol's most famous works, including the series Flowers.
225 E. 60th St., 212-838-3531, Midtown East, Manhattan
Jacqueline Kennedy and her sister Lee Radziwill ate there. Marilyn Monroe, Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé and Jay-Z too. But Andy Warhol came to Serendipity 3 before either of them. Stephen Bruce, Patch Caradine, and Calvin Holt opened the tiny café and pastry shop that would become an institution in New York in 1954. The original, a tiny room on East 58th Street, was filled with found objects like clocks, street signs, and old Tiffany lamps - an aesthetic Warhol so admired that he asked the owners to decorate his apartment. But it was the boîte's adventurous selection of sweet treats and desserts that made him come back. Warhol is said to have preferred the Lemon Ice Box Pie, but Serendipity 3's signature Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, a high-octane mixed and chilled cocoa blend, is still a best seller, and their $ 1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae is the stuff of urban mythology.
Museum of Modern Art
11 W. 53rd St., 212-708-9400, Midtown, Manhattan
Although Warhol was successful as a commercial artist, for magazines like Glamor and Harper's Bazaar worked and designed displays and storefronts for I. Miller and Bonwit Teller, denial was a common theme in his early pursuit of the visual arts. Some dealers and curators ignored him while others, such as Alfred H. Barr Jr., then director of the Museum of Modern Art's collections, politely dismissed him. "Dear Mr. Warhol," began a letter to Warhol from Barr dated October 18, 1956, regarding a drawing named Shoethat Warhol had offered the museum as a gift. "I regret to inform you that after careful consideration the committee has decided that they will not accept it for our collection." He concluded: "The drawing can be picked up at the museum at will." The MoMA now has more than 240 of Warhol's pieces in its permanent exhibition, including Gold Marilyn Monroe pictured here - as well as a number of shoe drawings.
Empire State Building
20 W. 34th St., 212-736-3100, Midtown, Manhattan
In the mid-1960s, Warhol had dared to become involved in film, with one of his most famous works in which the focus was not on a person but on a building. The artist's conceptual work in 1964, Empire, consists of a single long, lingering shot of the Empire State Building. The speed of the film has been slowed down for additional effects, resulting in a finished work with a slightly surreal quality that arrives after eight hours and five minutes. Jonas Mekas - a legendary filmmaker on his own - served as cameraman on Empiretaken from the Rockefeller Foundation offices on the 41st floor of the Time-Life Building in the evening hours of July 25, 1964, in the wee hours of the following day. The film remains one of the artist's most confusing works, hailed by some as a landmark of avant-garde cinema (including Mekas, also known as Village Voice's film critic served). Others find it almost impossible to watch.
19-25 St. Mark's Place, East Village, Manhattan
Pick up a slush o with the dome This is where a mango and mango dessert is located (and the St. Mark's Market) which is open from 19-25. St. Mark's Place was once the epicenter of Warholian nightlife. In the mid-1960s, the artist's nightclub, the Dom, later known as Electric Circus, hosted his multimedia exhibition event extravaganza the Erupting Plastic Unevitable (later and better known as The Exploding Plastic Unevitable). In 1966 the venue had the peculiarity of establishing a then unknown musical act called The Velvet Underground as a house band, which performed with the German model chanteuse Nico, who also took part in Warhol's most commercially successful trip to the cinema, Chelsea Girls. The Velvets, led by leading songwriters Lou Reed and John Cale, as well as bassist Sterling Morrison and drummer Moe Tucker, stood on the cusp of a rising creative tide in the East Village that would eventually lead to Sam Shepard, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe and Richard Hell as well as a variety of alternative galleries and venues.
180 Prince St., 212-966-3518, SoHo, Manhattan
Leo Castelli opened a second gallery, at 420 West Broadway, in 1971. At that time, the art world had already begun to colonize Soho, with artists and art dealers taking over the emptyloft spaces and turning them into studios and galleries. In the middle of the vortex was Raoul's, a French restaurant opened in 1975 by two brothers from Alsace, Serge and Guy Raoul. Theirs was an old-school bistro with several New York specialties: a local place where you could get a surprisingly good steak au poivre (their signature dish), have a strong drink next to Donald Judd or Cindy Sherman, or maybe that Caught head waiter playing Dusty Springfield songs in drag. Raouls soon became a place where artists, traders and writers gathered, a place to eat and drink, but also a place to see each other - which of course also appealed to Warhol, who ran the restaurant in the 1970s and 1980s Years ago, enthusiastic about the theater of the whole.
Dean & Deluca
560 Broadway, 212-226-6800, SoHo, Manhattan
With the influx of artists (and people wanting to be with artists), Soho needed a supermarket, and Joel Dean, Giorgio DeLuca and Jack Ceglic were indebted to it. Dean & Deluca, supplier of delicatessen products, has been in the city center since 1977 with fresh products, ready meals and gourmet delicacies. Warhol was a frequent customer of the original Soho location on Prince and Greene Street. (Dean & Deluca moved to their current Soho spot, on the corner of Prince and Broadway, a year after Warhol's death, in 1988.) It was at Dean & Deluca that Warhol introduced Jean-Michel Basquiat to the dazzling range of caviar on the market , which Basquiat then bought in bulk, a preference that emerged in a scene from Julian Schnabel's 1996 biopic Basquiat .}, (for which David Bowie put on a white wig to play Warhol).
145 West Broadway, 212-233-0507, TriBeCa, Manhattan
On what was then a desolate corner of West Broadway in Tribeca, brothers Brian and Keith McNally, along with Keith's future (and now former) wife Lynn Wagenknecht, opened The Odeon in 1980. With its rustic menu, no-frills retro decor and proximity to Soho, the restaurant became quickly to an art world clubhouse (and hosted more than a few Saturday Night Live After parties). For Warhol, the restaurant often served as a stopover in the early evening before a trip to clubs in the 80s such as Area or The Palladium. In a diary entry from September 13, 1985, he told of a night with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring that began - and probably should have ended - at the Odeon. "Dinner was cheap, I think because nobody was drinking," Warhol recalled. "Then we drove the limo to the Palladium. We were an hour or two. David Lee Roth was the only person I saw."
254 W. 54th St., 212-719-1300, Midtown West, Manhattan
Studio 54 was the place where Warhol met artists like Truman Capote, Mick Jagger, Diane von Furstenberg and Liza Minelli, and where Jagger's then wife Bianca was photographed on the dance floor on a gleaming white horse. (Jagger, now an animal rights activist, tried once and for all to refute the myth that she got on the horse by claiming that she simply got on a horse that was already there). The original Studio 54 closed in 1980; The site of Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager's legendary nightclub has been home to the esteemed Roundabout Theater Company since 1998.
324 E. 57th St., 212-751-9030, Midtown East, Manhattan; 121 Hudson St., 212-965-9500, TriBeCa, Manhattan
There is no faster way to get a taste of the New York art world of the 1980s than to visit Mr. Chow. The boom years produced by Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and many others formed the cast for Warhol's third act. The 57th Street branch of Michael Chow's transatlantic empire of fine Chinese cuisine, which opened in 1979, acted as a high-altitude place for the art world, just as famous for its Peking duck and noodles as it is for its shiny clientele.
Jefferson Market Garden
425 Sixth Ave., 212-243-4334, West Village, Manhattan
The patch of earth where Greenwich Avenue and Avenue of the Americas meet near West 10th Street has an eventful history. Jefferson Market Library used to be a courthouse, and the immaculately manicured garden next to it was formerly the site of the New York Women's House of Detention and, before that, a mixed prison. Mae West was imprisoned there once, as was Angela Davis. Warhol's connection came over S.C.U.M. manifest Author Valerie Solanas, who was held there in his Union Square Factory shortly after the shot at Warhol in 1968 - an event that would be of great significance to the rest of Warhol's life. The prison closed in 1971 and the building was demolished shortly afterwards. In 1974 the area was redeveloped as a community garden.
1000 Third Ave., 212-705-2000, Midtown East, Manhattan; 504 Broadway, 212-729-5900, SoHo, Manhattan
Warhol was a great accumulator and an elite shopper in every way. "King Tut is a good parallel," is how his close friend Paige Powell described his willingness to work at a 1988 Sotheby's auction of more than 10,000 of his personal items, from valuable Art Deco furniture and contemporary art to collections of cookie jars and Popeye watches will do. If shopping was Warhol's religion, Bloomingdale's was its main place of worship. The flagship at 59th and Lexington was a short walk from his townhouse on East 66th Street, and Warhol loved to slip into the mix of design, desire, consumerism and anonymity of the store. He once described Bloomingdale's - without a trace of its signature irony - as "a new kind of museum for the 1980s".
430 Lafayette St., 212-505-5111, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
With its neon lettering, colonial Franco-Vietnamese menu, distinctive palm wallpaper, and black and white checkered floor, Indochine wasn't an obvious classic when it opened in 1984, but it was an instant one. Brian McNally's East Village Restaurant across from the Public Theater first greeted the world with a star-studded after-party for a Julian Schnabel exhibition that featured Warhol, Basquiat, and the rest of the high-profile art world of the 1980s. (So proud of Indochina's creative legacy that an ad for the restaurant from that decade featured a Jean-Philippe Delhomme illustration by Warhol and Basquiat at one of the banquets.) McNally left Indochine in 1992, but unlike so many other hot spots downtown of the era, it has retained its own distinctive vibe of cool and remains popular with artists, celebrities, and fashion fans. Even if it's no longer where they go in search of wild nights, it has become something that is even rarer and special in some ways: the place where they go to family dinners.
The former factories
231 E. 47th St., Midtown East Manhattan; 33 Union Square West, Union Square, Manhattan; 860 Broadway, Union Square, Manhattan; 22 E. 33rd St., Murray Hill (Manhattan)
One of Warhol's most radical moves was to refer to his studio as The Factory, a term coined by handwork, assembly lines, and industry (as opposed to the most desirable artistic cocktail of ennui, loneliness, hunger, and attic). Not much is left of Warhol's factories today. The complex on East 47th Street where the original factory was located - known for some time as "The Silver Factory" after Warhol archivist Billy named it after Warhols Silver Cloud -Series decorated in cool metal tones - was demolished in the late 1960s; the site is now a parking lot. The Decker Building on Union Square West, where Warhol's magazine interview started and was filmed by Valerie Solanas, now houses a Dylan's Candy Bar at street level - which Warhol would undoubtedly have welcomed as a sweet tooth. Below the second Union Square Factory, at 860th Broadway, is a petco; the last factory is located at 22 E. 33rd Street and is a modern, glass and steel commercial building.
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