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ARTSY: In Death Warhol Finally Realizes His Dream Of Making The Most Tedious Film Of All Time

 

THE GUARDIAN: “Death is like going to Bloomingdale’s,” Andy Warhol once proclaimed – as benign and enjoyable as a trip to New York’s most famous clothing emporium. The revered pop artist, who would have turned 85 on Tuesday, has long since left for the great department store in the sky. But fans can now look in on Andy from anywhere in the world – because a webcam has been installed overlooking his grave. It’s been set up by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which oversees the artist’s archive and exhibits contemporary art. The new perpetual live feed is part of an ongoing project by Madelyn Roehrig, a Pittsburgh artist who has spent years investigating Warhol’s resonance today. The project is called Figment, a title borrowed from something Warhol wrote in 1985 about his death: “I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name. Well, actually, I’d like it to say ‘figment’.” MORE

RELATED: To paraphrase Lester Bangs, we will never agree on anything like we agree on the Velvet Underground. Though largely despised during their time as an active recording unit in the mid- to late-’60s, the Velvets continue to represent the final frontier, a borderless free-range of artistic postures and tonal sensibilities for succeeding generations of rock snobs. Beginners are well advised to start with the urban magic realism of their debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico, also known as The Banana Album. Easily 20 years ahead of its time, this seminal classic paints a graphic portrait of the cruel vanity and supersonic velocity of life in Warhol’s factory scene: a hipster funhouse of hustlers and homosexuals; artists and fakirs; needles and whips; speeding supermodels and jet-set glamour. The lyrics cue the music’s whiplash fluctuation from gentleness to juggernaut, and if you listen closely you can distill the parts from the sum: Nico’s diva-of-doom vocals; the tomboy stomp of Maureen Tucker’s trashcans-and-tambourines drumming; the post-hypnotic suggestiveness of John Cale’s viola; the sweet jangle and sitar-like clangor of Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison’s tangled guitar interplay. Velvets completists will be thrilled with the just-released Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes (Polydor/Universal), a three-disc set of live recordings from the VU’s late-’60s residency at San Francisco’s psychedelic ballrooms. The tapes were the private stock bootlegs of Robert Quine, who in the tail end of the ’60s was a struggling law school student and perhaps the original Velvet Underground Super Fan, turning out night after night with his tape recorder at places like the Family Dog and the Matrix. Quine went on to play guitar in Richard Hell & the Voidoids, one of the original punk outfits on the CBGB scene, and later became Lou Reed’s sideman in the early ’80s. MORE

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