by Gary Comenas
10th Street Coffeehouse, 1960 (Photo: Fred W. McDarrah) (Save the Village)
Ruskin's first bar/cafe was the 10th Street Coffeehouse. In 1962 he would open the Ninth Circle (see below) and, then, Max's Kansas City. (See also 1969 for other restaurants/bars he was involved with.)
c. JULY/AUGUST 1960:ANDY WARHOL MEETS HENRY GELDZAHLER. (PS305)
L to R: Henry Geldzahler (with cigar), Andy Warhol (in sunglasses), David Hockney and Jeff Goodman, 1963
(Photo: Dennis Hopper)
"[Florine Stettheimer] was a wealthy society lady, ah, in New York in the 1910s, '20's and '30s, who was a very good primitive painter... And the Metropolitan has her four major pictures of cathedrals... And the day I met Andy, I mentioned these were pictures that would interest him, and he said that he would like to come and to see them, and the next day he came to the Met, and I showed them to him... He was still doing commercial work for the first couple of years that I knew him... There is a story that in the early '50s that he he was the weatherman in the early morning news, and he had to get there at five o'clock because his hand was so colourless that they had to make-up his hand, and they would say, 'It's going to rain today' and he would paint the clouds and the rain... That was one of his earliest commercial jobs... And I had the delicious pleasure... around 1962... Andy brought a pile of drawings over to my house, and, then, we looked through them, and I tore up about 80 percent of them as just not being worthy of going out into the world... Leo Castelli turned his work down. Robert Alcott turned his work down, and Janis turned his work down, and finally, Eleanor Ward gave him a show..." (PS305-7)
Andy Warhol had moved to 242 Lexington Avenue from East 75th Street in the summer of 1953. His brother Paul Warhola recalled moving Warhol's possessions to his town house at 1342 Lexington on August 30th in a GM rental van late at night in order to get a parking space. (SCix)
Tony Scherman/David Dalton [Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol (NY: Harper Collins, 2009)]:
"'The town house bought by shoe ads,' Andy's friend Emile de Antonio called it, and it was true: everything Andy owned was paid for with a ceaseless flow of hundred-dollar drawings of shoes, hats, scarves, perfumes, handbags, and other ladies accessories... In 1960, Andy would gross $70,000, his best year yet, and when 1342 Lexington had come up for sale he was easily able to put down $30,000, almost half of the building's price..." (SCx)
Among the possessions they moved was Andy's art collection which included, according to Scherman and Dalton, "lithographs by Toulouse-Lautrec and Jasper Johns; a Klee reproduction; paintings by Tchelitchew, Matta and Paul Cadmus; drawings by Larry Rivers and David Stone Martin; a collage by Ray Johnson, a strange, antic man Andy had met at New Directions Press, for whom both illustrated book jackets; and two canvases by Jane Wilson, a portrait of Andy and a double portrait of his friend Ted Carey and Carey's lover John Mann." (SCx)
From the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné (Vol. 1):
"Among the bedrooms on the two upper levels, at least one was a studio. James Warhola, Warhol's nephew, has recalled that one of these upstairs rooms served as a projection room where Warhol enlarged images onto canvas. Warhol owned a Besemer Vue Lite opaque projector. In 1961 - early 1962, most of the source material was taken from the printed media, notably advertisements. These might be directly enlarged in the opaque projector, or a photostat might be made. The latter functioned like an intermediary drawing, that could be enlarged to the desired scale. In the case of the larger works, the canvas, which had been commercially primed, was tacked unstretched to the studio wall. For small subjects, such as the 29 by 16 inch Campbell's Soup Can paintings of early 1962, it seems likely that Warhol either stretched the canvas before painting, or used prestretched canvases. In 1961, Warhol generally painted the projected image freehand directly onto the canvas, rather than first tracing it in pencil. Warhol continued to produce paintings from projected images during 1962. Although his first silkscreened series, the Dollar Bill paintings, were made in April, it was not until August-September that he adopted it as a regular practice." (RN468-9)
The meeting was called by Lewis Allen and Jonas Mekas. Allen produced Shirley Clarke's film of The Connection (1961) before going on to produce more commercial films such as Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451 and Fortune and Men's Eyes.
The distribution project that arose from this meeting eventually evolved into Jonas Mekas' Film-makers' Cooperative, which showed many of Warhol's early films. The premiere of Warhol's first film, SLEEP, took place on January 17, 1964. It was a benefit screening for the Film-makers' Cooperative at the cinema that the Cooperative was using at the time for their screenings - the Gramercy Arts Theater. The premiere was attended by only nine people - two of whom left during the first hour. (FAW 10-1)
Tessa Hughes-Freeland (from Naked Lens: Beat Cinema by Jack Sargeant):
"As champion of the New American Cinema, in September 1960, Jonas Mekas called the first meeting of the New American Cinema Group. The most significant development to come out of that meeting was the sixth point of the manifesto, which stated the need for their own co-operative distribution centre. Initially Emile de Antonio tried to distribute a number of of 35mm features and shorts. In 1962 Mekas took over the distribution project... This distribution project transformed into the Film-makers' Cooperative... For the previous two years he [Mekas] had been running one-man shows of avant-garde filmmakers as well as open screenings at the Charles Theatre on Avenue B... These Film-makers' Showcases, which later became The Film-makers' Cinematheque, continued at the Charles Theatre until 1963. Mekas then organized midnight screenings on Saturdays at The Bleecker Street Cinema, then moved to the Gramercy Arts Theatre. They were thrown out of there eventually in 1964 for showing unlicensed and obscene films... From 1965 to 1968 Film-makers' Cinematheque continued to move around, a few months here and a few months there. In 1968 Mekas became the film curator at the Jewish Museum. In 1969 he bean to work with P. Adams Sitney and Jerome Hill on the foundation of the Anthology Film Archives at 425 Lafayette Street, of which he became the official director when it opened in December 1970." (NL114-5)
DECEMBER 1960: ANDY WARHOL IS HOSPITALISED FOR ANAL WARTS.
Warhol was hospitalised for four days in early December "for an aggravating sexually transmitted condition, condylomata, or anal warts, which required surgery." (SC49)
1960: ANDY WARHOL GROSSES $70,000.
Warhol's gross earnings for 1960 were $17,000 more than the previous year. (SC48-49)
1961: BILLY NAME HANGS OUT AT THE SAN REMO.
The San Remo was a coffee shop (cafe) on the corner of MacDougal and Bleecker streets. According to Popism, it was frequented by many of the people who would later become Factory regulars including Billy Name. Ondine, Rotten Rita, Silver George and Freddy Herko. (POP55)
Andy went to see underground films at the Charles Theater on Avenue B and 12th Street run by Jonas Mekas. When it closed in 1962 he continued to go to screenings at Jonas Mekas' Film-Makers' Co-op on Park Avenue South. (POP49) Later, Andy would bring films in for him to screen, such as the Andy Warhol Serial - the original Kiss films starring Naomi Levine.
Ondine in The Chelsea Girls
"I was at an orgy, and he [Warhol] was, ah, this great presence in the back of the room. And this orgy was run by a friend of mine, and, so, I said to this person, 'Would you please mind throwing that thing [Warhol] out of here?' And that thing was thrown out of there, and when he came up to me the next time, he said to me, 'Nobody has ever thrown me out of a party.' He said, 'You know? don't you know who I am?' And I said, 'Well, I don't give a good flying fuck who you are. You just weren't there. You weren't involved...'" (PS423)
According to Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol, published in 2009, it was at this exhibition that Warhol first met Johns. That book (and every other Warhol biography) repeats a story that is also recounted in POPism: The Warhol Sixties where Warhol asks his friend Emile de Antonio why Jasper Johns (and Johns' lover, Robert Rauschenberg) "didn't like" Warhol and de Antonio says it was because Warhol was too "swish;" was a commercial artist; and was also an art collector himself. Johns denied the explanation in an interview conducted by Paul Taylor in 1990. By January 1962 Warhol and Johns were friends - sometimes having dinner together and going to movies with each other. (SC56)
Paul Taylor: "... POPism describes his [Warhol's] initial meetings with you. He mentions a kind of chilliness toward him, and that you thought he was swish."
Jasper Johns: "I haven't read the book, so I can't reply to that."
Paul Taylor: "I think he said that both you and Rauschenberg thought he was "a swish."
Jasper Johns: "I would like to see that, to see if he said it or if he said someone else said it."
Paul Taylor: "Perhaps there was an intermediary person that reported it to him."
Jasper Johns: "That's what I think."
Paul Taylor: "Who do you think it was?"
Jasper Johns: "A mutual friend. Initially I met Andy... [when] Bob Rauschenberg and I were working together [on window displays], and one of the jobs that we had gotten was to interpret some of Andy's shoe drawings in a kind of three-dimensional window display..."
Paul Taylor: "So you were interpreting his commercial work commercially at the same time that he was interpreting your art work artistically?
Jasper Johns: "I don't know where he was with his own work at this point, because I didn't see his paintings until later. But at that time he had a kind of audience for his commercial work. It was considered very interesting by a lot of people... they would say that Andy would draw the lines and someone else would blot them, and then it all came out in the Sunday papers, in these ads. And certain people enjoyed them. I think the first person I heard talking about them was Cynthia Feldman, who was married to the composer Morton Feldman... Then at some point after that I was taken to Andy's studio... There were things like the painting of the cosmetic operation on the nose. That's the time at which I first saw his paintings. Now, what am I coming to?"
Paul Taylor: "You were getting around to the 'swish' word, I think."
Jasper Johns: "No, I'm not. I'm not getting around to that at all."
Paul Taylor: "So what did you really think of him?"
Jasper Johns: "What I think is, I don't think that was a proper statement. And I don't believe it's Andy's.
Paul Taylor: " You mean you don't think he actually believed it."
Jasper Johns: "Well, I hope he didn't..." (JJ250)
According to Pop, The Genius of Warhol (NY: HarpersCollins, 2009), p. 56, "On February 24, the day before Johns' show closed Warhol bought a drawing, Light Bulb, for $450..." (See also Ted Carey quote in Pre-Pop section).
Receipt for Jasper Johns' Light Bulb drawing
Pop, The Genius of Warhol notes that it took Warhol "all year, and three invoices from the Castelli Gallery, to pay up." A receipt from the Leo Castelli Gallery to Warhol dated May 8, 1961 (several months after the exhibition ended) indicates that $250 was received on account for the Light Bulb drawing, with a balance due of $200. When Warhol was later playing around with ideas for what would become his Silver Clouds installation, one possibility he reportedly discussed was making a helium-filled floating light bulb. The Light Bulb wasn't the only art that Warhol bought in 1961:
From Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol:
"January and February marked the purchase of not only the Johns drawing but three Johns lithographs: Black Flag and two Targets. In March, it was an Ellsworth Kelly watercolour: #2, 1960; in April, a Ray Johnson collage, Venice, and a Jim Dine painted shirt, which hung in the front-room studio at 1342 Lexington; in May, six Frank Stellas, miniature versions of Stella's Benjamin Moore paintings." (SC57)
From Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol:
"Executed during a three-month spurt between mid-February and the beginning of May, the paintings all drew on comic strips and newspapers for their subjects. Nancy was based on two panels from the Ernie Bushmiller comic strip that appeared in the New York Post on February 19; Storm Window, from an advertisement appearing in the March 2 New York Daily News. The original Popeyes appeared in the March 18 comics page of the New York Journal American." (SC49)
Some of Warhol's early Pop works would be part of a window display at the Bonwit Teller department store in April 1961 (see below).
c. LATE MARCH/EARLY APRIL 1961: ANDY WARHOL 'FIXATES' ON MURIEL LATOW'S LOVER.
From Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol:
"For ten days in late March and early April, his [Warhol's] fixation of the moment was Timothy Hennessy... a frequent escort of wealthy older women... Hennessey, an American expatriate then living in Venice, met Tibor de Nagy director John Myers in Italy and Myers offered him a show, which opened on February 28. During the show, according to Hennessey, Myers said, 'A terrible little man is coming by, a very boring person, but you have to be nice to him because he might buy a painting.' And it was Andy Warhol... Warhol bought no paintings, but invited Hennessy for lunch [probably at Serendipity]... Warhol talked about his mother, and then abruptly asked Hennessy if he could draw his feet, mentioning that he had just made an appointment with the gallery owner Betty Parsons to draw hers. The next day, Andy appeared at Hennessy's temporary studio on Sullivan Street 'in his little tweed jacket,' as Hennessy recollected, 'and said, 'Now take off your shoes and socks,' He had a satchel, and out of it he brought twelve American flags. He said, 'Now step on them.' And he did an exquisite line drawing...' At the end of their session, Warhol took copies of The Gold Book and Wild Raspberries from his satchel and presented them to his new friend. What Hennessy didn't say is that Warhol drew his feet again a few days later, this time entwined with those of Hennessy's lover, a striking thirty-year-old named Muriel Latow. 'I think he would have liked to draw us in bed,' said Latow, but Andy had to make do with with their feet.' Andy was besotted with Timothy. When he drew us, his eyes got watery and his face was flushed.'" (SC58)
Muriel Latow was the gallery owner who has been credited with coming up with the idea of Warhol painting soup cans (see THE SOUP CANS in the Pre-Pop section). John Myers, mentioned in the above account was, at one point, the lover of Larry Rivers (see JOHN BERNARD MYERS in the Pre-Pop section).
APRIL 1961: ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITS HIS FIRST POP PAINTINGS IN THE WINDOW OF BONWIT TELLER.
The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné notes that "Most window displays were coordinated by the display director, Gene Moore, but his one was initiated and installed by Clinton Hamilton, who knew Warhol through Nathan Gluck. Hamilton has recalled that although he visited Warhol's studio and selected paintings for the window, Warhol delivered different works" and that "Warhol's window seems to have been little noticed at the time." (RN471) The paintings were Advertisement, Before and After (1), Little King, Superman and Saturday's Popeye.
The display probably lasted for one week. As noted in the cat. rais., "Displays were usually on view for one week and changed on Tuesdays. Since the source of Little King is dated April 3, it is most likely that the paintings were on view the week of either April 11 or April 18." (RN469)
See ROY LICHTENSTEIN in the Pre-Pop section.
MAY 1961: AMERICAN GIRL MAGAZINE REPORTS THAT ANDY WARHOL IS WORKING ON AN EXPERIMENTAL MOVIE.
Warhol contributed an illustration to the May issue of the Girl Scout's magazine, American Girl. Included in the issue was a blurb about the artist which reported "Andy is working on an experimental movie." (SC62)
From: Scott MacDonald, Cinema 16: Documents Toward A History Of The Film Society (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002)
The 'First Statement of the New American Cinema Group'... reflects the group's unhappiness with conventional distribution: 'We'll take a stand against the present distribution-exhibition policies. There is something wrong with the whole system of film exhibition; it is time to blow the whole thing up... We plan to establish our own cooperative distribution center... The New York Theatre...The Bleecker St. Cinema, Art Overbrook Theater (Philadelphia) are the first movie houses to join us by pledging to exhibit our films. Together with the cooperative distribution center, we will start a publicity campaign preparing the climate for the New Cinema in other cities. The American Federation of Film Societies with be of great assistance in this work.'
The listing of the members of the group who attended the first meeting includes Lewis Allen, Edward Bland, Peter Bogdanovich, Ben Carruthers, Shirley Clarke, Emile de Antonio, Edouard de Laurot, Robert Frank, Don Gillin, Walter Gutman, Harold Humes, Argus Speare Juilliard, Alfred Leslie, Gregory Markopoulos, Adolfas Mekas, Jonas Mekas, Jack Perlman, Sheldon Rochlin, Lionel Rogosin, the Sanders brothers, Bert Stern, David C. Stone, Daniel Talbot and Guy Thomajan. While most of the members are designated as filmmakers or producers, the group also included actors a theatrical and film lawyer (Perlman) and a theater manager (Talbot). (CS33fn23)
JULY 20, 1961: ANDY WARHOL TRAVELS TO PHILADELPHIA TO DRAW CECIL BEATON'S FEET.
Cecil Beaton was a guest at Henry McIlhenny's place in Philadelphia. Warhol returned to New York the same day and celebrated his drawing of Beaton's feet (who was caught napping by Warhol) with a friend at Serendipity - W.H. Auden's lover Orlan Fox who was studying at Columbia University who Warhol presumably knew through Ted Carey's brother who was also at Columbia. (SC67)
LATE SEPTEMBER 1961: ROY LICHTENSTEIN'S GIRL WITH BALL IS EXHIBITED AT THE LEO CASTELLI GALLERY.
The group show, which opened on September 22, also included work by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, John Chamberlain and others. Lichtenstein joined the gallery in October on a $400 monthly retainer and a solo show scheduled for February 1962. (SC71/73)
Diane di Prima:
"That October, around the same time that LeRoi and I were busted for The Floating Bear [an underground newsletter published by di Prima and LeRoi Jones]; Alan Marlowe had located the first home for the New York Poets Theatre. It was a large, dark, back room with a stage and little else, located on East Tenth Street, in what was then becoming the downtown art gallery scene. The place had been dubbed the Off-Bowery Theatre by its optimistic owners, who ran an 'avant-garde' gallery in front... It had nothing going for it, in fact, except the location (people were coming to East Tenth Street to go to art shows, and therefore might come to a theatre, we reasoned) and the price - it was very cheap.
... We went right ahead with the program as we had planned it: The Discontent of the Russian Prince, a play I had written about two years earlier, about getting up in the morning, in which FREDDIE HERKO and I were the sole performers; The Pillow, a beautiful early verse play by Michael McClure (another of his plays from this same series, The Feast, written in 'beast language,' was published in Floating Bear #14, that same eventful October); and LeRoi's play from The System of Dante's Hell." (DP276-7)
The Judson Poets Theater was organized by Al Carmines, a graduate of the Union Theological Seminary, who had been hired in 1960 by the church pastor, Howard Moody (who had started the Judson Gallery in 1958), to oversee the church's arts program. (JD36) Later, in September 1963, ANDY WARHOL would design the stage layout for one of the Judson Poets Theater's productions - Asphodel, In Hell's Despite directed by SOAP OPERA co-director, JERRY BENJAMIN. (SB79) Warhol had previously designed sets for for a theater group called Theater 12 or the "12th Street Players" in the early 1950s.
A portrait of Andy Warhol described
as "probably at the Judson Church" in 1963.
(Photo credit: Billy Name)
NOVEMBER 11, 1961: ANDY WARHOL DRAWS LEONTYNE PRICE'S FEET.
Warhol managed to get her consent through Gene Hovis, a chef with show-biz friends who sometimes went under the last name of Peterson. (His friends referred to him as "that Peterson woman.") (SC67)
According to Pop, The Genius of Warhol, the cheque was to pay Muriel for coming up with the idea for Warhol's Campbell's Soup Can paintings. Warhol's friend, Ted Carey, recalls that Warhol "went out to the supermarket" the next day and bought "all the soups." (WC91)
Waring, who had been involved with The Living Theatre in the late 1950s (JT150), would later appear, with FREDDY HERKO (and BILLY NAME), in Warhol's film Haircut #1.
Diane di Prima:
"We did a second set of plays at the Off-Bowery in December: James Waring's NIghts at the Tango Palace; John Wieners' Still Life; and the fourth act of Robert Duncan's full-length work Faust Foutu... Jimmy's play about a dance palace derived most of its moments of grace from Freddie Herko playing a mute janitor, who knows but can't tell anything of what's going on..." (DP279)
1961: ANDY WARHOL EARNS $57,000.
Warhol no longer worked for I. Miller who had decided to use photographs in their ads rather than drawings. His main client was Bonwit Teller from whom he earned $10,000. Among his other commissions were illustrations for Harper's Bazaar, Blue Note Records, Tiffany, Dance Magazine, Life and Glamour. (SC68)
"On January 7th, 1962, I invited some 20 avant-garde/independent filmmakers to my Manhattan loft to discuss the creation of our own distribution center. Stan Vanderbeek, Ron Rice, Rudy Burckhardt, Jack Smith, Lloyd Williams, Robert Breer, David Brooks, Ken Jacobs, Gregory Markopoulos, Ray Wisniweski, Doc Humes, and Robert Downey, to mention a few, were among those present.
The Film-Makers' Cooperative came into being.
Announcements were sent to across the United States and abroad. My loft became the Co-op's temporary home (if one can call five years time temporary!) I slept under my editing table. The rest of the place was taken over by filmmakers, who were almost always there, screening their films to each other and friends. It was a very exciting period, everybody was there, from Salvador Dali to Allen Ginsberg, to Andy Warhol to Jack Smith to Barbara Rubin—everybody!"
1962: MICKEY RUSKIN OPENS THE NINTH CIRCLE IN NEW YORK. (IAP32)
Ruskin would later go on to open Max's Kansas City, where Warhol and his acolytes would hang out. (See also 1960 and 1969)
Although the 32 Campbell's Soup Can paintings exhibited at the Ferus Gallery from July 9 - August 1, 1962 can be considered a series (according to the Ferus' director, Irving Blum, Warhol told him that the Ferus soup cans had been "conceived as a series" (PS220)), Warhol's 200 Campbell's Soup Cans, 100 Cans, 100 Campbell's Soup Cans and his Campbell's Soup Box were the first works to "consolidate the principle of repetition within single works" according to to The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné Vol. 1. 100 Campbell's Soup Cans and 100 Cans repeat the same flavour of soup (beef noodle) whereas 200 Campbell's Soup Cans consists of different flavours of soup. (RN088)
The 1962 Campbell's Soup Box should not be confused with his box sculptures exhibited in 1964 at the Stable Gallery. The 1964 boxes were replications of product packaging boxes. His 1962 box had nine cans on each of the sides of the box and images of the tops of the cans on the top of the box. Warhol was shown with the 1962 box (and 200 Campbell's Soup Cans) in a Duane Michals photograph in the June 1962 issue of Mademoiselle magazine as part of an article titled "The Village Idea" by Leo Lerman. (RN093)
200 Campbell's Soup Cans was consigned to the Martha Jackson Gallery in late June 1962 and returned to Warhol at the end of August. It was also included in the "New Realists" exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery although didn't appear in the exhibition catalogue. (RN092)
"New Realists Exhibition," Sidney Janis Gallery, 1962
(Photo: Eric Pollitzer)
According to the most recent biography of Andy Warhol, Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol, "shortly after the first soup can paintings and immediately before the dollar bill paintings, Warhol made two series of stamp paintings: S&H Green Stamps... and Airmail Stamps. The earliest of these were made in January 1962, using designs carved into art gum erasers... Using the engraved art gum erasers as stamps, he made monoprint impressions on canvas and paper with acrylic paint." (SC90) The authors, however, do not indicate the source of the January 1962 date, which is not footnoted. Art writer David Bourdon did not recall seeing any S&H Green Stamp paintings when he first visited Warhol's studio in March 1962. (RN130)
According to The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné Vol. 1: Paintings and Sculpture 1961-1963, "A contact sheet by Edward Wallowitch shows an S&H Green Stamp work on paper and Red Airmail Stamps among exposures of related works from the period, including a Ferus-type Campbell's Soup Can (Tomato) and Dance Diagram, as well as the photographic source of Torn Campbell's Soup Can (Vegetable Beef). This sheet places these works in the first months of 1962 and shows that the stamped paintings were begun before all the Campbell's paintings were completed." (RN103)
The catalogue raisonné also notes that solubility tests of the green paint in an S&H Green Stamps painting and the red paint on the gum eraser used to make the Airmail Stamp paintings "have shown that both were painted with acrylic emulsions" which "indicates that both series mark a decisive shift on Warhol's part from casein to acrylic colours that occurs in early 1962." (RN103)
The New York Poets Theatre presents an Evening of Dance by Yvonne Rainer and Fred Herko, March 5, 1962 (Designed by Ray Johnson) (Collection Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.)
According to Andy Warhol 365 Takes, Andy Warhol first used silkscreening in early 1962 for his one-dollar and two-dollar bill paintings. (AWM28)
According to Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol, "On March 7, David Bourdon, an aspiring writer Warhol had known slightly since 1959, dropped by 1342 Lexington. In notes Bourdon jotted down at the time, he wrote that Warhol was 'now painting a series of money because 'he likes it so much.'" (SC91) Yet, according to the Andy Warhol catalogue raisonné, Bourdon "saw no silkscreened paintings... or dollar bill paintings" when he first visited Warhol's studio in March 1962.
From The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné Vol. 1: Paintings and Sculpture 1961-1963
"David Bourdon noted that he 'saw no silkscreened paintings when he first visited Warhol's studio in March 1962... [nor] any S&H Green Stamps or dollar bill paintings.' A portion of a large dollar-bill painting appears in the background of a photograph taken by Alfred Statler at the end of April. Statler's contact sheets include two other exposures in which three dollar-bill paintings are partially visible in the background. Bourdon's recollections and the Statler photographs bracket a fairly limited interval of time during which the dollar-bill paintings were made. Accordingly, they have been dated here March-April 1962." (RN130)
According to the appendix in the catalogue raisonné on Andy Warhol's studios, Warhol's first silkscreened series, the Dollar Bill paintings "were made in April" although "it was not until August-September that he adopted" silkscreening as "a regular practice." (RN469) The catalogue raisonné notes that two "anecdotal versions" of the origins of the Dollar Bill paintings "have appeared in the Warhol literature." One credits the idea to art dealer Muriel Latow (first cited in Calvin Tomkin's 1970 essay, "Raggedy Andy" and repeated by Warhol's friend, Ted Carey, in Andy Warhol's Art and Films and the second to art dealer Eleanor Ward. According to Ward (and Emile de Antonio), she promised Warhol a solo exhibition at the Stable Gallery if he would paint her lucky two-dollar bill. Latow was also credited with coming up with the idea of Warhol's Campbell's Soup Can paintings. (See "The Origins of Andy Warhol's Soup Cans or The Synthesis of Nothingness.")
In November 2009, Andy Warhol's 200 One Dollar Bills was sold at auction for $43.8 million - the second highest auction price for a work by the artist (with the highest being his 1963 Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) which sold for $71.7 million in 2007). (See BBC.)
While still a student a Syracuse University, Reed wrote I'll Be Your Mirror, a song about his girlfriend Shelly Albin. (LR42) He also befriended alcoholic writer Delmore Schwartz who was teaching at the University. (LR58)
Lou Reed: "Delmore was my teacher, my friend, and the man who changed my life. He was the smartest, funniest, saddest person I had ever met. I studied with him in the [Orange] bar... We drank together starting at eight in the morning. He was an awesome person. he'd order five drinks at once." (LR60-1)
1962: HOLLY WOODLAWN GETS ADOPTED.
Hollys stepfather, now the maitred at the Fountainbleu officially adopted her. When Holly and her gay friends were caught borrowing her father's new blue 62 convertible Chevy while he was working nights, Holly admitted to her stepfather that s/he was gay. S/he was sent to Youth Hall, a correctional facility. (HW44)
BILLY NAME did the lights for an evening of performance organized by Philip Corner and Dick Higgins which included Higgins' Two Generous Women, three renditions of La Monte Young's Poem for Chairs, Tables, Benches, Philip Krumm's Lecture on Where to Go From Here, with sound by Corner, and Carolee Schneemann's An Environment for Sounds and Motions.
JUNE - JULY 1962: ANDY WARHOL PAINTS COCA-COLA BOTTLES. (RN188)
Andy Warhol's 210 Coca-Cola Bottles was exhibited at his first Pop show in New York at Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery in November 1962. It also appears in a photograph taken by Eric Pollitzer for the November 1962 issue of Harper's Bazaar. In addition to 210 Cola-Cola Bottles (to which the Andy Warhol Foundation has assigned cat. no. 201) this series of works attributed to June-July 1962 includes Green Coca-Cola Bottles (cat. no. 202), Five Coke Bottles (cat. no. 203), Four Coke Bottles (cat. no. 204), Three Coke Bottles (cat. no. 205), Two Coke Bottles (cat. no. 206), Coca-Cola Bottle (cat. no. 207), Coke (cat. no. 208), Coke Bottle (cat. no. 209) and Coke Bottle (cat. no. 210).
From the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 1:
"According to Nathan Gluck, Warhol used a balsa-wood stamp for the earliest serial Coca-Cola paintings. Bourdon suggest that these works were stenciled rather than silkscreened or that Warhol attempted to combine both techniques. Although a stamp carved in a soft wood offers a clue as to the possible origins of the profile and three-quarter views, no such stamp has been found. Variations in the saturation and the surface of the green-coloured bottles (especially cat. no. 207) indicate that they were painted at least partially by hand." (RN182)
Holly ran away to New York with a friend named Russell. She financed the trip by selling an aquamarine bracelet for $27.00 that she stole from her mother. Russell stole some money from his grandmother for the trip. The cash enabled them to buy two one way bus tickets to New Brunswick, Georgia and they hitchhiked the rest of the way, a trip which was immortalized later by Lou Reed in his song, Walk on the Wild Side:
"Holly came from Miami, F-L-A,
hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A.,
Plucked her eyebrows on the way,
shaved her legs and then he was a she,
she says, Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side..."
Holly arrived in New York at the age of fifteen. A trucker with whom they have hitched a ride dropped her and Russell off in the middle of Times Square. They stayed at a cheap hotel while looking for jobs. Unable to find anything after three weeks Russell returned home. Holly met some hustlers in Bryant Park, moved in with them and tried prostitution but wasn't very good at it. She moved out, slept in doorways, subways, all-night movie theatres - wherever she could. (HW54-56)
The dances in the first Concert of Dance emphasized Cagean notions of chance and randomness - a John Cage composition, Cartridge Music, was used for two different dances performed either simultaneously or over lapping each other. The dances that Herko performed in included Instant Chance and a solo performance to music by Erik Satie - Once or Twice a Week I Put on Sneakers to Go Uptown. The evening also included a film, Overture, with the makers of the film listed as W.C. Fields, Eugene Freeman [sic], John Herbert McDowell, Mark Sagers, and Elaine Summers. Summers had learned filmmaking from Gene Friedman who was also a friend of McDowell. Friedman encouraged in camera editing - a technique that Warhol would also employ.
The exhibition at Irving Blum's Ferus Gallery on La Cienega Blvd. in West Hollywood featured Warhol's series of 32 different canvases of Campbell's Soup Cans. A nearby supermarket piled up real Campbell's soup cans in their window, advertising them as "the real thing for only 29 cents a can."
Six of the Warhol paintings were sold for $100 each. According to Irving Blum, the buyers included Don Factor, Betty Astor, Ed Jans and Bob Brown. Blum ended up getting the buyers to relinquish their ownership so that he could get keep the set together, and bought the entire series for $1,000.00 from Warhol, paying him $100.00 a month. (PS219)
On 19 May 1964, the Product Marketing Manager for the Campbell's Soup Company wrote to Warhol, telling him that they admired his work and sent him a couple of cases of their tomato soup. Warhol asked Billy Name [Billy Linich] to write back, asking them if they would like to purchase a box sculpture, but the company declined the offer.
La Mama was founded by ELLEN STEWART in the basement of 321 East 9th Street in Manhattan. (MA) Stewart's blog can be found here. (Accessed February 2009).
The inaugural play at La Mama was Andy Milligan's production of Tennesse Williams' One Arm which had previously played the Caffe Cino.
Warhol's play Pork premiered at La Mama on May 5, 1971. JACKIE CURTIS' play Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit (directed by John Vaccaro) played there the previous year, opening on February 24, 1970, with another Curtis play, Femme Fatale, opening on May 6, 1970. (See La Mama 1970.)
Clive Roller (center) as Amanda Pork (the character based on Brigid Berlin) and the Pepsodent Twins (based on Jed and Jay Johnson) in the New York production of Andy Warhol's Pork
(Photo: Leee Black Childers, 1971)
Other productions at La Mama which featured some of Warhol's stars included Cockstrong in 1969 and 1970 and Vain Victory: The Vicissitudes of the Damned in 1971.
AUGUST 1962: ANDY WARHOL DOES HIS FIRST PHOTO-SILKSCREEN - BASEBALL.
Andy Warhol [interviewed by Barry Blinderman in 1981]:
"The silkscreens were really an accident. The first one was the Money painting, but that was a silkscreen of a drawing. Then someone told me you could use a photographic image, and that's how it all started. The Baseball painting was the first to use the photo-silkscreen." (BM294)
From the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné:
"If Baseball is Warhol's first photo-silkscreened painting, as he claimed in a 1981 interview [with Barry Blinderman], its subject matter is somewhat more unusual, more characteristic of Rauschenberg's work of this period than of his own. In fact, when Warhol remarked in the same interview that the 'silkscreens were really an accident... someone told me you could use a photographic image, and that's how it all started,' it seemed plausible to suppose that Warhol was referring to Rauschenberg as his informant. David Bourdon, however, averred that the reverse was the case: that Warhol had told Rauschenberg about the photo-silkscreen technique during a visit to the former's studio on September 18, about two months after Warhol had painted Baseball and the teen and movie star portraits..." (RN206)
Kenneth Goldsmith [ed. I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews
"Blinderman decided to write a piece on Warhol's Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York City. The exhibition was a suite of prints that included Franz Kafka, Gertrude Stein, and the Marx Brothers. The series was published by art dealer Ronald Feldman... Feldman was impressed by Blinderman's writeup of the Ten Portraits and offered to introduce him to Warhol. An interview was arranged [by Ronald Feldman at the Union Square Factory on an extremely hot and sunny Tuesday in August of 1981... 'He made me very much at home...' Blinderman remembers. 'I saw from the start that he was very intent on answering my questions, which were focused on art, as opposed to gossip or fashion.' The interview was heavily edited. 'Andy would end many sentences with 'or something like that' or 'oh really' and 'oh gee,' which I deleted from the final piece.' Blinderman also changed the order of the conversation to make things cohere thematically." (KG291)
Baseball (the game rather than the silkscreen) was also mentioned in POPism, in the section about Warhol's trip to Los Angeles in the autumn of 1963: "We made it in to Los Angeles in three days. When we arrived, we discovered there was a World Series going on and all the hotels were filled. (Baseball had been big news in New York all summer too - but only because the Mets lost over a hundred games in their second season.)" (POP41)
In the same book, Pat Hackett, writing as Warhol, says, "In August '62 I [Warhol] started doing silkscreens... My first experiments with screens were heads of Troy Donahue and Warren Beatty, and then when Marilyn Monroe happened to die that month, I got the idea to make screens of her beautiful face - the first Marilyns." (POP22)
AUGUST 1962: ANDY WARHOL SILKSCREENS MOVIE STARS - INCLUDING TROY DONAHUE.
From the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné:
"In Popism, Warhol noted that his first silkscreened paintings based on photographic images were of the heads of such movie stars as Troy Donahue and Warren Beatty, and it is likely that the first movie-star paintings followed immediately after Baseball." (RN208)
In other words, although Popism indicates that the first photo-silkscreen was of one of Warhol's movie star silkscreens, the authors of the catalogue raisonné believe that the first photo-silkscreen was actually Baseball.
The cat rais. also notes that "Among the young movie and television stars who were featured in the pages of teenage fan magazines, Troy Donahue seems to have been of particular interest to Warhol. In the Warhol archive, photographs of him and reproductions taken from fan magazines outnumber those of other stars of this genre. With them, Warhol created three Troy types. Two of the types are based on phototgraphs identified in the Warhol archive, while the third is unknown..." (RN215)
Two photographs indicated by the cat. rais. are publicity stills of Troy Donahue. One of the stills was used for a Troy silkscreen on newsprint mounted on canvas. The cat rais. notes that on the reverse, "a header pasted to the backing identifies the papers as the Pittsburgh Press, Wednesday, August 2, 1962. The backing is also inscribed with a later signature by Warhol and the following noted by Nathan Gluck: 'Trial proof struck off on newsprint of Andy Warhol Portrait of Troy Donahue picked up from the firehouse studio floor - before 'The Factory.' The studio to which Gluck referred, the Firehouse, was not occupied by Warhol until November 1962. The date of the newspaper, however, indicates a significantly earlier terminus a quo in August, one that corresponds to the date Warhol cited in Popism." (RN215)
The cat. rais. also notes that Warhol had one of the Troy photographs "fabricated into a rubber stamp rather than a silkscreen" which was "related to a commission from Harper's Bazaar (cat. nos. 217-230)." The cat rais. continues "Seven subjects were used in the feature, but no Troy was among them, although he was included on the proof sheets that Warhol prepared for the project. Here, Donahue appears beside American movie and pop stars such as Tuesday Weld, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley, as well as Warhol's friend Henry Geldzahler. Warhol invoiced the magazine for his work and the cost of thirteen stamps in early November, indicating that the works were probably made in October, after the painting." (RN215)
The commission that the cat. rais. identifies as being related to the rubber stamp Troy is indicated as cat. nos. 217-30 which refers to a series of cars that Warhol was commissioned to do for the Harpers Bazaar November issue. The cat. rais. does not specify what is meant by "related to" as the commission it refers to was for a double spread of car images rather than celebrities and the cars were not done by rubber stamp. The rubber stamp celebrities appeared in the December issue of Harper's Bazaar. It's not known what the copy deadline was for the issue, although copy deadlines for monthlies do tend to be far in advance of the issue, particularly given the practice of an issue coming out earlier than the designated month. The works done by rubber stamp may have been earlier than October.
AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 1962: ANDY WARHOL PAINTS MARILYNS.
From the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné (Vol. 1):
"Warhol's paintings of Marilyn Monroe relate topically to her suicide on August 5, 1962, which immediately preceded the works. His earliest statement on the subject linked her with the origins of his Death series: "I guess it was the the big plane crash picture, the front page of a newspaper: 129 DIE [cat. no. 199]. I was also painting the Marilyns. I realized that everything I was doing must have been Death" (Art News, Nov. 1963). The Marilyns also coincided with his first photo-silkscreened paintings... In Popism, he noted that he 'started doing silkscreens' in August and that 'when Marilyn Monroe happened to die that month, I got the idea to make screens of her beautiful face - the first Marilyns' (1980, p. 22) There were three distinct Marilyn series during the 1960s: the series from 1962 (cat. nos. 248-85), a group of five paintings in 1964... and a portfolio of editioned prints in 1967... All are based on the same source image, an 8 by 10 glossy black-and-white photograph... that he variously cropped... Apart from the Dollar Bill paintings executed several months earlier... the 1962 Marilyns constitute Warhol's most extensive series of works from this time. Given the large number of Marilyn paintings produced during late 1962, the series surely occupied Warhol into September." (RN224)
Ileana Sonnabend was the ex-wife of New York art dealer Leo Castelli. They had divorced in 1959 and she moved to Paris to start her own gallery. The first consignment of works by Warhol that she received was dated October 7, 1962 and consisted of six drawings and six paintings. The paintings were Campbell's Soup Can (Tomato), Big Torn Campbell's Soup Can (Black Bean), Green Coca-Cola Bottles, Marilyn in Black and White, Twenty Marilyns and Four Marilyns. (RN473) Three of the paintings were exhibited in a group show called "Pop Art Américain," at Sonnabend's gallery in May 1963.
Warhol had met the surrealist poet CHARLES HENRI FORD at a party given by Ford's sister, RUTH FORD (an actress who was married to ZACHERY SCOTT), at Ruth's apartment in the Dakota on Central Park West and 72nd Street. Warhol went to underground film screenings with Charles Henri. (POP25)
Village Voice ad, 28 December 1961, p. 11
See "Jonas Mekas and the Film-Makers' Cinematheque"
According to Gerard Malanga, Willard Maas was the person giving the blow job off-screen in Warhol's film, BLOW JOB which Warhol would film in 1963. Marie Menken would later appear in numerous Warhol films, including THE CHELSEA GIRLS and THE LIFE OF JUANITA CASTRO. Menken would also make a film of a day in the life of Andy Warhol in 1965.
Menken's stormy, alcoholic-fueled relationship with Maas may have been the inspiration for Edward Albee's play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, although it has also been rumoured that the play was based on Albee's own alcoholic-fueled homosexual relationship with Bill Flanagan. Although a friend of Bill Flanagan's thought that Martha sounded like Flanagan, Flanagan denied the "homosexual interpretation" of the play.
Bill Flanagan [Edward Albee's lover]:
"With Virginia Woolf all hell broke loose, especially after people began to think that the two characters of Martha and George were really myself and Edward. There was a friend of mine - this boy in Detroit - who had never even met Edward. And he came to New York and he saw the play, and was absolutely horrified with disbelief at the character of Martha because it sounded to him like the way I talked and behaved... The whole question of the central characters really being two men is really not germane. Certainly, nobody has ever demonstrated it from the text. Unless you can demonstrate that indeed this is true, there is no proof... I honestly believe that if the rumour mills had not started churning, everybody would have gone to that play and taken it at face value. The homosexual interpretation only came along later." (PO115-6)
According to Gerard Malanga, Gerard was introduced to Warhol at a party given by Menken and Maas in Fall 1962 - although he has also indicated in his writings that he was introduced to Warhol on June 9, 1963 by Charles Henri Ford at a poetry reading, which led to him working for Warhol beginning on June 11, 1963. (GMW102/139)
From the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné:
"In the fall of 1962, Warhol made several paintings of Elvis Presley, using the pictorial format of serially repeated postrait heads characteristic of his other movie-star paintings. These works are referred to here as the early Elvis paintings, to distinguish them from the full-length Elvis figures on silver backgrounds made in mid-1963... The source of Warhol's early Elvis portraits has not been located... The unlocated photograph that Warhol selected for the paintings was also reproduced on a proof sheet in the Warhol archive... Printed on the same sheet is a profile view of Elvis, as well as pictures of Tuesday Weld, Troy Donahue, Marilyn Monroe, and an infant tentatively identified as Monroe as a child. These images correspond to a group of commercially made rubber stamps... and to several proof sheets... related to a commission from Harper's Bazaar (cat. nos. 238-47). Warhol's invoice to Harper's Bazaar dates from early November, suggesting that the commission and the early Elvis paintings were executed in October, not long before the exhibition at the Stable Gallery." (RN253)
The catalogue numbers given by the cat. rais. that are "related to a commission from Harper's Bazaar" are 238-47. The works listed as 238-47 are some of Warhol's Troy paintings which the cat. rais. says are, themselves, "related to a commission from Harper's Bazaar (cat. nos. 217-230)." Cat. nos. 217-230 are a series of Cars that Warhol did for the November 1962 issue of Harper's. Or to re-phrase - according to the cat. rais. the Early Elvises are "related to" cat. nos. 238-247 (Troy) which are related to cat. nos. 217-230 (Cars).
The cat. rais. does not state what is meant by "related to." The rubber stamp celebrities appeared in the December 1962 issue of Harper's. It's not known what the copy deadline was for the issue, although copy deadlines for monthlies do tend to be far in advance of the issue, particularly given the practice of an issue coming out earlier than the designated month. The works done by rubber stamp may have been earlier than October.
NOVEMBER 1962: HARPER'S BAZAAR PUBLISHES CARS AND COCA COLA PAINTINGS BY ANDY WARHOL.
From "Deus ex Machina" in the November 1962 issue of Harper's Bazaar:
"Commissioned by Harper's Bazaar to make a visual comment on the phenomenon of the American motorcar, Andy Warhol, continuing his experimentation in 'commonism,' or the art of giving the familiar a supra-familiarity, made the nine oil paintings on these and the two preceeding pages." (HB13)
The exhibition took place at Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery on 33 East 74th Street. Ward's gallery was named the Stable because it had previously been located at an old livery stable on West 58th Street. She had moved the gallery to East 74th Street after the original building was razed in 1960 to make way for a high rise apartment building.
From the recollections of Eleanor Ward and the gallery director Alan Groh, the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné has identified the following works in the exhibition: two Dance Diagram paintings; Close Cover Before Striking (Coca-Cola); Do It Yourself (Sailboats); 129 Die in Jet; 210 Coca-Cola Bottles; Baseball; Troy Diptych; Gold Marilyn Monroe; Blue Marilyn; Green Marilyn; Mint Marilyn; Lavender Marilyn; White Marilyn; Licorice Marilyn; Marilyn Diptych and Red Elvis. (RN472)
Interestingly, no soup can or money paintings appear on the list despite the fact that Warhol's friend Emile de Antonio credited Eleanor Ward with coming up with the idea for Warhol's money paintings in exchange for giving him the exhibition (see "The Origins of Andy Warhol's Soup Cans or The Synthesis of Nothingness"). Money paintings are also not included in the description of the show in POPism where it is claimed that Warhol's first New York show "in the fall of '62 - had the large Campbell's Soup Cans, the painting of a hundred Coke bottles, some Do-It-Yourself paint-by-numbers paintings, the Red Elvis, the single Marilyns, and the large gold Marilyn." (POP25)
At the opening of the show, visitors were given red ribbons with Warhol's name attached to a badge with the image of a Campbell's Soup Can (Ferus type):
Andy Warhol ribbon given to art writer William S. Wilson by Henry Geldzahler at the opening of the show
From the Cat. Rais. Paintings and Sculpture vol . 1 (NY: Phaidon Press, 2004), p. 050:
"For the Stable opening, buttons printed with the green-pea variety of the Ferus type were distributed to gallery vistors. Attached to the button, a red ribbon bore Warhol's name. The image on the button focuses on the can, dropping out the edges of the Ferus compositions. Rather than being tightly framed by the canvas, the can is suspnded on the white field of the button."
As noted in the cat. rais., there were actually 8 Marilyn "flavours" hung in two groups of four on walls facing each other in the hallway but only six could be identified. Also a review of the show by Donald Judd in the January 1963 issue of Arts magazine referred to a Martinson Coffee painting which is not included in the list.
From "In the Galleries: Andy Warhol by Donald Judd" (Arts, January 1963, p. 49)
"It seems that the salient metaphysical question lately is 'Why does Andy Warhol paint Campbell Soup cans?' The only available answer is 'Why not?'... Actually it is not very interesting to think about the reasons, since it is easy to imagine Warhol's paintings without such subject matter, simply as 'over-all' paintings of repeated elements... Unlike Lichtenstein, the only person with whom Warhol can be directly compared, Warhol does not strictly maintain the commercial scheme, or any other unillusionistic scheme. Also his sensitivity extends to the format: in one painting some bottles are empty, some full and some are half empty; one of Elvis Presley is 'overall' within a rectangle set up and to one side, leaving a border of canvas; the photographs, probably repeated with a silk-screen, often lighten in value toward one side or are deleted. The repetition should be made more insistent and the variation, if it is necessary, rapid and also insistent... The best thing about Warhol's work is the colour... The stained alizarin and the black of some repeated Martinson Coffee cans is interesting for example... The gist of this is that Warhol's work is able but general. It certainly has possibilities, but it is so far not exceptional." (PC268)
During the exhibition, JOHN GIORNO met Warhol at the Gallery for the first time and in 1963 became the star of Warhol's first film, SLEEP.
LATE 1962 - 1963: ANDY WARHOL USES A POLAROID LAND CAMERA.
From the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné (Vol. 1):
"The back parlor [of 1342 Lexington Avenue] seems to have served Warhol as both a social space and a place to show friends and colleagues his new work... Warhol acquired an early Polaroid Land camera in 1962; and an extraordinary group of black and white Polaroids document an array of well-known and unidentified visitors sitting on the sofa and posing in front of paintings in this wood-paneled room. during a period that probably dates from late 1962-63, these visitors include Ileana Sonnabend and Robert Rauschenberg, David Bourdon, Virginia Dwan and Ed Kienholz, Charles Henri Ford, Henry Geldzahler, Ray Johnson, Ivan Karp, Patty Oldenburg, Larry Poons, and James Rosenquist." (RN468)
DECEMBER 1962: HARPER'S BAZAAR PUBLISHES WARHOL'S PHOTO-BOOTH PORTRAITS.
From Andy Warhol: The Bazaar Years 1951-1964:
"Harper's Bazaar was also first to publish Warhol's photo-booth made portraits that he would soon use as source material for many of his early portrait paintings, such as his first commission from art collector Ethel Scull. Published in December 1962 and June 1963 issues of the magazine, they feature Warhol's photo-booth portraits of up and coming as well as more established figures in the contemporary arts, including curator Henry Geldzahler, opera singer Grace Bumbry, dancer Edward Villella, conductor Lorin Maazel, and actor Tom Courtney...
For the December 1962 issue, the magazine allowed Warhol to create a full bleed double-page spread featuring personalities multiple times in an overlapping and blurring off-register fashion with captions superimposed in an almost jigsaw puzzle fashion. Warhol had begun to play with tech use of inked rubber stamps as a means of allowing individual images to be reproduced serially. He would soon abandon the rubber stamp method with his discovery of the photo silkscreen process that would play a central role in his future image making." (HB4)
See also: JUNE 1963.
DECEMBER 1962 - EARLY 1963: ANDY WARHOL PAINTS SUICIDES.
From the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné (Vol. 1):
"Four types of subjects depicting suicides can be identified among Warhol's work of late 1962 and early 1963... In a series of stills from documentary footage shot in the studio in mid-December 1962... Warhol can be seen silkscreening a painting on the floor. This is A Woman's Suicide... Another Suicide image shows an unidentified subject, probably male. The figure is silhouetted beside the facade of a high-rise building and suspended in mid-leap. A 1962 date is inscribed on the reverse of one example, a work on paper... The composition of Suicide (Purple Jumping Man)... is a hybrid of the jumping figure with images that also appear in Bellevue I and Bellevue II... Although no source photograph has been located...[Bellevue I and II] have been identified consistently in the literature as Bellevue, after a New York hospital, and dated 1963. The subject of the fourth type can be documented extensively. It derives from a photograph reproduced originally as the 'Picture of the Week' in Life on May 12, 1947, after a young woman jumped from the Empire State Building and landed on a United Nations limousine at the curb. Warhol found the picture reprinted in the New York edition of the January 18, 1963 issue." (RN286)
In September 2009 Google put all Life magazines online. The January 18, 1963 issue can be found here. However, the picture does not appear in that edition, presumably because it was not the "New York edition." It does appear in the 1947 issue as "Picture of the Week" on Google, on page 43, which can be accessed here. An explanatory text begins "On May Day, just after leaving her fiance, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale wrote a note. 'He is much better off without me... I wouldn't make a good wife for anybody,' she wrote..." The photo is credited to photography student, Robert Wiles.
Warhol would also explore suicide when he took up filmmaking. Warhol made a film called Suicide (sometimes referred to as Screen Test #3) in early 1965, described by Callie Angell in the first volume of the film catalogue raisonné as a colour film "in which a young man reminisces about his various suicide attempts." (AD302n129) There is also an "oft-repeated story" as described in the film cat. rais. that Warhol, upon hearing that one of his film subjects, Freddie Herko, had committed suicide "remarked that he wished Freddy had told him he was planning to kill himself so he could have filmed it." (AD93) According to playwright Robert Heide, Warhol made a similar comment about Edie Sedgwick around the time that Warhol filmed Edie in Lupe - c. late 1965.
"During this period I conferred with Andy about writing The Death of Lupe Velez for Edie who was anxious to play the role of the Mexican Spitfire, found dead in her Hollywood hacienda with her head in a toilet bowl. I met Edie at the Kettle of Fish on MacDougal Street to talk over the project. When I got there Edie was at a table with a fuzzy-haired blond Bob Dylan whose shiny black limousine was parked outside. I mentioned the script I was working on and Edie said innocently, 'Oh, we already filmed that this afternoon. It's in the can... in Technicolor.' Nothing was said when Andy arrived, although he did astonish me that evening by asking, 'When do you think Edie will commit suicide? I hope she lets me know so I can film it'." (VVR)