To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death, Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi has curated an exhibit of Warhol-centric photographs for Goss Gallery. The exhibit, from April 20 to May 19, will also feature work by Warhol himself, as well as from the book Andy Warhol: The Day the Factory Died, with photos by Christophe von Hohenberg.
Perhaps you are familiar with Warhol’s works, but the pictures that comprise Factory are in no way avant-garde. Von Hohenberg, a renowned fashion photographer, came upon Warhol’s funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on assignment for Vanity Fair, and he was amazed at what he saw. He began snapping beautiful black-and-white photos, capturing the swirl of celebrity that forced itself, shoulder-to-shoulder, into the event. It was as if Andy Warhol had planned his own funeral, a dizzying crush of fame and fakery.
The images, though, somehow manage to convey a warmth and sadness, despite the high-glitz factor of that day. Limos lining the street in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Bianca Jagger, her hair pulled over one eye, surrounded by photographers. The stern, defiant chin of Claus von Bulow, looking down on the proceedings and the poor fools below him. A hurrying Robert Mapplethorpe, his long, angry mane blowing behind him. The ever-present writer Dominick Dunne, his fame-loving smile all out of proportion given the reason for being there. And our favorite, the wild-eyed mania of punk-and-pop fashion designer Stephen Sprouse, perhaps the most Warholian of the subjects photographed.
Even though it took place in 1987, the funeral seems forever ago, a time when an artist could not only celebrate art through pop culture but bend it to his own will, in life or in death. Now, we’d be subjected to his biography every day on E! Perhaps it’s best he left when he did.