The Velvet Years 1965-67 Warhol's Factory
Photographs by Stephen Short and Essay by Lynne Tillman
I have read a number of books about Andy Warhol and this book caught me by surprise. First, because I have not come across it before, and second, because of the writing and interviews. Lynne Tillman writes about Warhol thoughtful, insightful and revealing ways, with sentences oscillating between the poetic and profound, "His scavenging was emphatic, his 'lacks' not absences but presences in his work.." to forthright statements with deep resonance, "If anyone showed how weird the idea of taste is, it was Warhol." Chuck Wein plays and big role in the recent film Factory Girl, but this book shows how the Cambridge crowd he and Edie were part of fit into the Factory. This book also dispels myths of the factory. It was a quite place, sometimes, as well as rarely the site of parties.
A few excerpts from the cards:
(The two mentioned above are from page 11)
-11- "His work is difficult though, if one lets it be, just because it can easily be taken at face value. It questions what one is looking at merely by being on the wall, being looked at by you."
-(soup cans) "Even if they no longer shock, they still may surprise."
-12 "Warhol's own system relied on making a lot of a little."
- dialectical manner
-13- something to argue about
-15 image- not being a tortured, isolated artist
"There are those who aren't interested in Warhol's work, don't get the picture, never did or will, fine or see nothing, no qualities, in it, none at all in him."
-L. Woolf's defense of Virgina Woolf
"The frame is an embrace, a lover's decision, and like any embrace, something's included, something's excluded."
-18 "Death is the frame with the toughest grip, with an embrace for everyone."
-memory and history
"No one is ordinary or everybody is, profoundly."
-29- Gordon Baldwin, "...people just improvising, what their lives are, and no one's quite sure what's expected of them."
-29-20 napkin conversations
-30 "Gee Whiz"
-45- Gerard Malanga, "A people collector. His being quiet added to it."
-63- John Cale- Piero Heliczer
-sense of humor
-64- "A doer, always a doer."
-75- Donald Lyons, quoting Oscar Wilde, "I put my genius into my life, my talent into my art."
-83 D Lyons about Nico, mentions she was learning Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep it with Mine"
-89- Sterling Morrison, "Rather than put it off till next month, he just did it."
-93- Barbara Rubin, Bob Dylan, saving his life, motorcycle accident
-99- D. Lyons, "The Velvets were suburban. Except John."
-108- Susan Bottomly/International Velvet, "I think we cam with our own show."
-115- Jonas Mekas, "As you look at the work of any unrepeatable artist, anything that is unique like that cannot be repeated by anybody else. You cannot repeat Eisenstein or Dreyer."