I think it all began with New York. Manhattan in the 60s. Pollock, Jones, Lichtenstein. Paint spilled on a large canvas. Capote’s glasses, Sinatra’s hat, Miller’s pen. And jazz. Jazz and rock’n’roll striking down the new city of lights. Small underground clubs and cafes. Thinking of it, I can’t see any specific place, rather a thrilling kind of energy of skyscrapers, restaurants, galleries and of course, a huge amount of extravagance. Atmosphere of the Factory. Black and white pictures, omnipresent cigarettes smoke, black eyeliner, dance, drugs. Jagger, Malanga, Sedgwick, living life on their own terms. And art of course. “What is it about Warhol? What’s with the can of soup?”- I wondered. I couldn't wrap my head around the thought, that Warhol actually Was a genius as everyone around me claimed him to be. It took me some time to understand, that Andy became a reflection of America at his time. He threw the country back in its face. I used to think that he was a talent-less manipulative pig. I watched Factory girl and I went through the story of life of Edie Sedgwick, one of many Warhol’s muses, a fashion icon, who revolutionised the style on the 60's. Used and betrayed by Warhol, Edie left the Factory, and a couple of years later died at age of 28, cause of overdose.
At that time I was also reading "On the road" and "Howl". I was listening to Bob Dylan and I was dreaming of what I thought was the essence of freedom - long road trip form East to the West coast. And the South. New Orleans, with its colonial plantations, Blues, gray oaks and endless swamps. Like from Brother where are thou. It had nothing to do with Brillo boxes, amphetamine, suits and the first sounds of The Rolling Stones records. I felt like I couldn't love both, like I had to choose.
Because both Pop and Warhol bugged me so much, I decided to learn more. I needed to get to the root of it, discover why I couldn't just ignore it. First book, then the second and the third. Films, interviews, I couldn't know it all. I began to wonder, how did a man of Warhol’s high intelligence, could sell himself with expressions like “oh that’s wonderful” or “yeah isn't that great?”. I began to realise that Warhol was his own art. It did intrigued me, was it just a creation or did Andy really become Pop? The book [The life and death of Andy Warhol by Victor Bockris] depicts Warhol as a person filled with humour and absurd. It shows that Andy wasn't serious about anything, especially his art. Perhaps about the money. He was the first artist who had seized nothingness. His fascination of emptiness and death. Death who wears bright colors and mutters “oh that’s wonderful”. He became the embodiment of emptiness. There’s no one before and after him, who had so many personalities and yet at the same time, had none. In "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol", the artist shows, what seems to be his private, more personal take on life and his obsession with details - cherries on a carpet, pockets filled with phone cards, weakness for kitsch.
In a certain way Andy Warhol and Woody Allen shaped my dreamy image of New York. Something that stays in the back of my mind, and waits for its time, but above all, it’s comparison with reality.