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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Who's Who of Warhol’s Unseen Films?

Warhol may be the 20th century’s greatest schmoozer. He actively befriended and connected with the NYC and international art world elite. Many of his mainstay muses are now household names, but Andy’s social net was so wide cast, you may need a brief refresher on the “It” men and women who appear in the films of Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films.

Mario Montez and Boy, 1965. Photo: Andy Warhol ©2014 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved. Film still courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum.

John Washing (1963)
      16mm film*, black and white, silent, 4.5 minutes at 16fps**

JOHN GIORNO: A stockbroker before meeting Andy, John Giorno later wrote poetry influenced by advertising and founded Giorno Poetry Systems in 1965. Artists such as William Burroughs, John Ashbery, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, and Philip Glass collaborated on live “happenings” as well as recordings with synthesizers that Giorno termed “electronic sensory poetry environments.”

Jill (1963)
      16mm film, black and white, silent, 4.5 minutes at 16fps

JILL JOHNSTON: Jill Johnston was a dance critic at The Village Voice and deeply immersed in the avant-garde scene of performers formulating in the 1960s when she met Andy. Writing under the name F.J. Crowe, Johnston wrote Lesbian Nation and other feminist and cultural critiques until her death in 2010.

Bob Indiana Etc. (1963)
      16mm film, color, silent, 4 minutes at 16fps

WYNN CHAMBERLAIN: With two works in the permanent exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, there’s a reason The New York Times called Chamberlain a “pioneer realist painter.” He was an integral part of Andy’s circle and utilized several Factory members in the film he wrote, produced, and directed, Brand X, including Taylor Mead, Baby Jane Holzer, and Candy Darling.

Wynn Chamberlain & Andy Warhol.
JOHN GIORNO: See above.

ROBERT INDIANA: The man behind the iconic and most widely-recognized image from Pop Art, Indiana’s LOVE still appears in museums, on postage stamps, and as sculptures. Robert Indiana’s oeuvre is far more expansive, though, as evidenced in his recent retrospective at the Whitney Museum.

Robert Indiana & Andy Warhol.
MARISOL: A Venezuelan sculptor who was passionately interested in pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. She managed to capitalize on the pop scene with exhibitions and creative successes throughout the 60s. El Museo del Barrio is currently displaying a major retrospective of her work.

Marisol & Andy Warhol.
ELEANOR WARD: An art dealer and founder of the infamous Stable Gallery who was known for working with some of the most boundary-pushing artists of the 50s and 60s. Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, and Robert Indiana each had his first one-man show at her gallery. Another protégé, Marisol, noted, ''Eleanor knew how to create a sense of theater.”

Allen (excerpt) (1964)
    16mm film, black and white, silent, 3.2 minutes at 16fps

GREGORY CORSO: An essential member of the Beat movement who Ginsberg called an “awakener of youth,” Gregory Corso produced work in Boston, San Francisco, and Paris with fellow Beat poets.

ALLEN GINSBERG: Ginsberg’s appearance at “The ‘6’ Gallery Reading” in San Francisco in 1955 was the driving force behind the Beat Generation. It’s here that he first read his poem, “Howl,” publicly. Many consider Ginsberg to be the leader and founder of the Beat poets.

JACK KEROUAC: An American writer best known for his novel On the Road and his close bond with Ginsberg, Burroughs, and other great Beat writers.

GERARD MALANGA: The New York Times referred to Malanga as “Warhol’s most important associate,” particularly during Andy’s most fruitful period from 1963-1970. He helped with everything from silkscreen painting to filmmaking, acted in several Warhol films, choreographed the music of the Velvet Underground for The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, and was one of the founding editors of Interview.

TAYLOR MEAD: Warhol saw Mead performing poetry in the late 50s, and they later met to take a cross-country road trip to LA in 1963 where they filmed part of his first Warhol film Tarzan and Jane Regained…Sort Of. Deemed one of the first Warhol superstars of the Factory, Mead appeared most recently in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes and was still performing weekly at the Bowery Poetry Club throughout the early 2000s. He was an LES resident and a staple of the bohemian scene (The New York Times called him “the quintessential Downtown figure”) appearing in hundreds of films (by his count at least) and writing poetry up until his death in 2013.

Andy Warhol & Taylor Mead.

PETER ORLOVSKY: A poet and actor who was Ginsberg’s partner until Ginberg’s passing in 1997. He later joined the faculty of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute in Colorado.

Jack Cigarette (excerpt from Batman Dracula) (1964)
    16mm film, black and white, silent, 4.4 minutes at 16fps
BEVERLY GRANT: An underground actress who appeared in a few Warhol films. She was married to experimental video artist and musician, Tony Conrad. Of note: Tony was credited with inadvertently helping Lou Reed and John Cale name The Velvet Underground.

JACK SMITH: A pioneer underground filmmaker, performance artist, and photographer who had a deep and lasting influence on Andy Warhol and queer, experimental cinema. He was particularly interested in the movies of Maria Montez for their extravagant costumes, sets, and performance.

Screen Test: Donovan [ST 78] (1966)
    16mm film, black and white, silent, 4.2 minutes at 16fps

DONOVAN: One of the few who brought 1960s subculture to the mainstream, Donovan won over popular audiences with songs such as “Colors” and “Mellow Yellow.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Marisol – Stop Motion (1963)
    16mm film, black and white, silent, 4.5 minutes at 16fps

MARISOL: See above.

Screen Test: Edie Sedgwick [ST 310] (1965)
    16mm film, color, silent, 4.5 minutes at 16fps

EDIE SEDGWICK: Edie can definitely be classified as Andy’s girl Friday as she was his go-to for his art, films, social appearances, and so much more. The original “It Girl,” she was also named the “Youthquaker” by Vogue.

Andy Warhol & Edie Sedgwick.

Paraphernalia (1966)
    16mm film, color, silent, 3.8 minutes at 16fps

INTERNATIONAL VELVET (Susan Bottomly): She began modeling at the age of sixteen and shortly thereafter met Gerard Malanga, who introduced her to Warhol. After appearing in a Warhol Screen Test, she was renamed International Velvet and went onto appear in many Warhol films. Warhol considered her “very beautiful” and was fascinated with her facial features and precise makeup application.

International Velvet & Andy Warhol for Esquire .

Nico/Antoine (1966)
    16mm film, color, silent, 4.4 minutes at 16fps

Antoine (Pierre Antoine Muracciolo): Not much is known about this French singer, although he does appear in videos walking around NYC with Nico and seems to have been part of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.

NICO: Another Warhol superstar who rose to true stardom supplying vocals to The Velvet Underground’s debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. She also had a successful solo career as a singer, composer, lyricist, and model.

Andy Warhol & Nico.

Kiss the Boot (excerpt) (1966)
    16mm film, black and white, silent, 4.5 minutes at 16fps


MARY WORONOV: One of Warhol’s “superstars,” Mary danced with Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Warhol’s multimedia presentation with the Velvet Underground. She appeared in many Warhol Films, including Chelsea Girls in 1966, one of Warhol’s first commercial successes.

Screen Test: Marcel Duchamp and Benedetta Barzini [ST 81] (1966)
    16mm film, black and white, silent, 4.2 minutes at 16fps
MARCEL DUCHAMP: Andy and Marcel met in 1963 at an opening at the MoMA. Duchamp noted, “I liked Warhol's spirit. He's not just some painter or movie-maker. He's a filmeur and I like that very much.” That meant a lot coming from one of Andy’s greatest artistic and conceptual influences. Duchamp was a trailblazer of the Dada movement and the inventor of “Readymades,” everyday objects like a fountain or a bicycle wheel presented as art.

Duchamp being filmed by Warhol.
BENEDETTA BARZINI: An Italian model and actress, Barzini was named one of the “100 Great Beauties of the World” in 1966 by Harper’s Bazaar. She was a staple of Warhol’s Factory and even became engaged to one of Andy’s early collaborators, media artist Gerard Malanga, but later decided to move back to her homeland to pursue a full-fledged acting career.

Mario Montez and Boy (1965)
    16mm film, color, silent, 4 minutes at 16fps

MARIO MONTEZ: A Warhol “superstar” from Puerto Rico, Montez was featured in 13 of Andy’s underground films from 1964-66. He took his drag name from actress Maria Montez, a gay icon in the 50s and 60s. He appeared in Jack Smith’s 1963 classic film Flaming Creatures.

RICHARD SCHMIDT: Very little to no information exists about this “boy,” except that he did appear in screen tests and a Warhol film called More Milk, Yvette with Mario Montez and Paul Caruso.

Me and Taylor (1963)
      16mm film, black and white, silent, 4.5 minutes at 16fps

TAYLOR MEAD: See above.

ANDY WARHOL: The man behind it all and one of the most culturally significant figures of our time.

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