Had a pretty good and pleasantly uneventful Thanksgiving. We drove to Pennsylvania this year rather than flying (or not flying), mostly so that we could go to my parents’ farm and also drop by State College on the way back to visit Terri’s folks on or around their respective 60th birthdays.
We also managed a visit to the Warhol Museum with Margaret and Niall. I was somewhat underwhelmed, but only because I was so overwhelmed the first time I went there. It seemed smaller, and they didn’t have as much new stuff out as I thought they would. It was somewhat interesting to see some of the personal effects they had on display on the top floor. An entire large glass case of toiletries, some with the Duane Reade price tags still on them, including an impressive collection of hotel soaps and shampoos. There were also wigs. Glasses. The actual outfit you’ve seen him photographed in a million times during the ’60s: striped sailor shirt, black jeans with some paint smudges, Beatle boots, wig, and glasses. The actual tape recorder he carried with him everywhere in the 60’s. When you think of Andy Warhol, you think about reproduction, copies, impersonal machined images. So it makes it extra weird to encounter these actual personal objects of his and sense their aura (in the non-mystical sense of the word). The art itself bears seeing in person, too; as Marco and I have been discussing to death, there is (ironically) a lot of nuance you miss in just seeing the reproductions. (Also ironically, I feel like it’s the 2D stuff that loses the most in reproduction; the 3D stuff like the Brillo boxes actually reproduces pretty well in photos. Actually, I take that back. The thing you don’t see in photos is that they actually don’t look like actual Brillo boxes. They look like wooden boxes painted to look like Brillo boxes, and that is kind of important).
I also liked his hammer and sickle paintings, which were silkscreens of photographs of an actual sickle and hammer bought from a hardware store.
Anyway. Terri will undoubtedly have stuff to add.
I almost invariably have really strange dreams the first or second night when I go back to the farm. Sorry for sharing the creepy and somewhat disturbing dream from this time, but I thoroughly enjoyed how vivid it was, and how real in its fakeness.
And the bonus prize at the end of the trip was dinner with Helmecki in CT last night.