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The essentials:
Exhibit:Andy Warhol: In His Wake
Artists: Ultra Violet, Taylor Mead, Billy Name, Ivy Nicholson, Anton Perich, Steve Joester, Amy Cohen Banker, Cynthia von Buhler, Pamela Martin, William Tisdale, Molly Weingart, and Gary Azon
Gallery: Carrozini von Buhler Gallery
Location: 407 West 13th Street, 2A, NYC
Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturday from 2 PM – 6 PM.
Cost: Free
Opening reception: Thursday, February 22, from 6 – 10 PM
Exhibit closes: March 14, 2007

All done up in self-conscious eccentricity, The Carrozini von Buhler Gallery imagines itself as the Silver Factory for Andy Warhol: In His Wake. The show—and yes, it’s more than a stuffy retrospective; it’s an interactive carnival-ride of paintings, photography, projections, and sculptures—opens February 22, on the twentieth anniversary of Warhol’s death. Stepping into this gaudy time vortex, you will see the work of some of the Factory’s celebrities, Ultra Violet, Taylor Mead, Billy Name, and Ivy Nicholson. Additionally, two artists who documented Warhol and seven artists who have been influenced by Warhol pay homage to one of the most influential pop artists.

Back in the ’60s, Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory was more than just the studio where he created his famous silkscreens and films; it was a denizen of party-goers and luminaries. CVB Space pulls out all the stops to create the whimsical atmosphere of the Factory by suffocating support beams with tinfoil, floating silver pillows, spinning a disco ball, and having a red couch for guests to lounge on. CVB Space’s simultaneous commodification and iconization of Warhol’s Factory embodies the very essence of Warhol’s mass production of pop culture.

2007_02_arts_WarholOMatic.jpgLikewise, the artists showcasing their work in Andy Warhol: In His Wake more or less duplicate the Pope of Pop’s visionary style. Cynthia von Buhler, who wore a silver strapless dress to the VIP preview and looked very Dita von Tesse with her black hair and pale skin, stole the show with her tongue-in-cheek work. If you crawl through a hole in the art space, you’ll discover her “Cynth-O-Matic,” a vending machine that celebrates celebrity and commerce by selling 100% Genuine menstrual blood, pubic hair, eyelashes, and nail clippings. Meanwhile, her “Sir Repetitious” features live rats that you, the viewer, can feed. The rats (which are her pets) crawl along pipes that figure as the spine in the transparent torso of what is a depiction of S&M author Gary Kadet. And yes, von Buhler depicted Warhol too, with the fortune-telling machine (like out of the movie Big) “The Great Warhola.”

In a more obvious replication of Warhol’s style, Steve Joester created two collages: one that repeats images of Warhol and one that that repeats images of Mick Jagger, who hung out at the Silver Factory back in its heyday. (Joester also currently has Warhol-related art at the Gershwin Hotel.) Fellow Warhol documenter Anton Perich embraces technology’s influence on art with his machine painting of Warhol.

While the artwork coyly remarks on how Warhol’s ideals influenced the art world, the photographs at this exhibit tell of the more personal nature of the artist. Photographs from the Factory’s in-house photographer, Billy Name, are also on display. It was Name’s apartment that actually inspired Warhol’s Silver Factory. Fascinatingly, William John Kennedy’s photographs of Warhol in fields of flowers in Queens show almost a hippie quality to Warhol that seems to go against the artist’s obsession with machinery.

The opening reception is on Thursday, February 22, from 6 – 10 PM. Those who attend will be treated to Five Minutes of Fame, readings by Dorothy F. August, Patricia Corragon, Greg Fuchs, Ron Kolm, Bill Kushner, Taylor Mead [you can also catch Taylor Mead every Friday from 6:30 – 7:00 PM at the Bowery Poetry Club], Thad Rutkowski, Jackie Sheeler, Larissa Shmailo, Hal Sirowitz, Star Black, and Carol Wierzbicki. A must-see exhibit, Andy Warhol: In His Wake will run through March 14.