September 15, 2009

Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Andy + Edie

Ah, the golden duo. I cannot have one without the other. Essentially, they are the same person. I mean if you heard "silver coif clad in skinny black" you would not know the difference either. They are the epitome of glamorous. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. Oh, art, do not forget about the art! The glorious art I have loved all my life. The giant silkscreen portraits, the birth of the indie film, and well be Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick is an art itself. Oh what I would give to be a member of the Factory!

Andy was born in poverty, Edie was born to old money. Andy's mother nurtured him and encouraged him to pursue the arts, Edie's father abused her and pushed her into an inescapable black hole. Andy prospered, Edie fell. In the end, neither of them got their "happily ever after."

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andy Warhol was a certified mama's boy. After being diagnosed with St. Vitus (a nervous system disease which caused Andy's skin to blotch - hence the painted white skin) Andy was often bed ridden. He would stay home from school where he would draw, listen to the radio, and eat the soup his mother so lovingly made for him. In the late 1940's he moved to NYC where he freelanced to magazines and advertising agencies. He received his big break when a department store featured hired him for a window display - the arrival of the ever famous ink drawing of shoes. More famously, he began to work with silkscreens and is credited in influencing the pop art movement. He constructed his masterpieces in an aluminum foiled warehouse dubbed "The Factory." The Factory housed many other eccentric characters dabbling in art, film/photography, and music. In 1968 Andy Warhol was shot, he survived only to meet death in 1987. Andy has always mesmerized me. He always seemed so unreal. He once said "Everything's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic." I think he succeeded in his wish. Andy had a certain quality about him - he was a sheer genius.

I first heard about Edie Sedwick when my Aunt Tara sent me "Edie: American Girl." She thought I might like the story. She was right - and then some. I fell in love on the first page. Born in Santa Barbara, Edie seemed well off when really she was quite the opposite. Edie and her seven brothers and sisters were kept on the family's oil ranch, with little outside contact. Her father was abusive, and her mother, a bipolar, pretended he wasn't. Because of this, Edie and two of her brothers were admitted several times throughout their short lives into mental hospitals. Through her life Edie suffered bouts of bulimia/anorexia and a severe drug addiction. In 1971 Edie died of a drug overdose. Besides being obviously beautiful and having and even more beautiful style, I had always wondered why I was so in awe of her and continued to draw inspiration from her. Yes, she is beautiful but she had a screwed up life. But that is the answer itself. I find everyone hides their problems and attempts to maintain a perfect life - which is impossible. Sometimes what is screwed up, can be very beautiful indeed.

pen and watercolor


Altered Artists said...

I love this story. As a ex-visual merchandiser...I especially love the Warhol as window dresser part of it. I never knew that. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog.

TRay said...

Two things to say:

Porn for Christmas

Coke for breakfast (the soda, for the curious out there!)

Love u,

P.S. Warhol said, "Remember, they've never seen you before in this life."