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Andy Warhol News 2023

by Gary Comenas

to Andy Warhol News 2022

Bibbe Hansen's Poetry in the Evergreen Review

Gary Comenas and Bibbe Hansen at Oscars on Charlotte Street, Firmdale Hotels

Bibbe Hansen and Gary Comenas at Oscar Restaurant (Firmdale) in London (Photo Sean Carrillo, 2022)

September 2023: A selection of Bibbe Hansen's poetry has been published in the current issue of the Evergreen Review under the title of Holly and Other Poems. Includes Holly, Mario, Jonas, Dorothy and John. Artwork by David Gilbert. Go to: https://evergreenreview.com/read/holly-and-other-poems/.

A new Edie Sedgwick book is published: Edie: A Mystery Solved

Front cover of new book about Edie Sedgwick called  Edie, A Mystery Solved by Gary Comenas

Edie: A Mystery Solved by Gary Comenas

A true story about Andy Warhol Superstar Edie Sedgwick and an imposter

USA - UK - Germany - France - Spain - Sweden

June 2023: At last. My Edie Sedgwick book is published! A novella-sized introduction to Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol and certain events that happened in the years after Edie's death when an actress in New York attempted to pass herself off as a relative of Andy Warhol's most famous superstar with tragic consequences.

This book is a behind-the-scenes look at what really went on. Some of you will remember the incidents and some of you were involved. A TRUE story that began with an unsolicited email and ended up in "18 years to life."

Hope you enjoy it.

Blondie slays Gastonbury

Blondie at Glastonbury

Debbie Harry and drummer Clem Burke of Blondie

June 25, 2023: Blondie gave an overwhelming performance at the Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. to an audience of thousands (over two hundred thousand attended the event) in front of an amazingly fluid film backdrop that referenced events in the '70s and '80s like Glenn O'Brien's TV Party.

Debbie Harry at the age of 77 gave a stunning performance backed by members of her old band including drummer Clem Burke (who is also in his 70s) who performed with the energy of a teenager - and newcomers that included former Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock. Guitarist Tommy Kessler gave an amazing solo that got the crowd roaring.

The performance was definitely the highlight of the festival.


Bad News for the Art World: Andy Warhol Foundation loses Lynn Goldsmith lawsuit

May 19, 2023: On Thursday, May 18, 2023, the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts lost their case against celebrity photographer Lynn Goldsmith regarding the use of her photograph of Prince in a painting by Andy Warhol.

The judgment notes that "The Court limits its analysis to the specific use alleged to be infringing in this case—AWF’s commercial licensing of Orange Prince to Condé Nast—and expresses no opinion as to the creation, display, or sale of the original Prince Series works."

Apparently the main problem was the licensing, not the work itself.

The summary continues: "In the context of Condé Nast’s special edition magazine commemorating Prince, the purpose of the Orange Prince image is substantially the same as that of Goldsmith’s original photograph. Both are portraits of Prince used in magazines to illustrate stories about Prince. The use also is of a commercial nature. Taken together, these two elements counsel against fair use here. Although a use’s transformativeness may outweigh its commercial character, in this case both point in the same direction. That does not mean that all of Warhol’s derivative works, nor all uses of them, give rise to the same fair use analysis."

Does that last sentence mean that the judgment does not affect the licensing of Andy Warhol's Marilyns, for instance? The judgment opens a Pandora's box of possible lawsuits and headaches for editors. What effect this has on Goldsmith being able to earn money from the image will have to be seen. Will editors shy away from using her work to avoid legal hassles? Who owns the rights to the work? She has posted her Prince photograph on Facebook and Facebook's terms and conditions stipulate that they own any "IP content" posted on their site. "IP content" includes photographs. Is the judgment relevant to works by artists such as Richard Prince who use images from other sources? How will the judgment affect struggling graffiti artists who use popular imagery in their works?

More to come....

Andy Warhol Textiles in Bermondsey

Detail from a dress made of Andy Warhol's Happy Butterfly Day textile (The Needlecraft, c. 1955)

23 April 2023: Andy Warhol: The Textiles opened at The Fashion and Textile Museum on 31 March 2023 and continues until 10 September 2023.

L.A. auctioneer pleads guilty to Basquiat forgery

19 April 2023: While the BASQUIAT × WARHOL. PAINTING FOUR HANDS exhibition continues to wow the critics and crowds at the Foundation Louis Vuitton (and The Andy Warhol Museum hosts the Warhol show in Saudi Arabia where being gay is a crime that carries the death sentence), Los Angeles auctioneer Michael Barzman has pleaded guilty to a scheme involving fake Basquiats with another individual, identified as "J.F."

The 25 fake Basquiats were displayed at the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida as part of an exhibition titled Heroes and Monsters before they were seized by federal agents.

Barzman was charged on Tuesday, 14 April 2023. His next court date is yet to be scheduled.

R.I.P. Kip Stagg

Kip Stagg in one of his Andy Warhol Screen Tests

18 April 2023: I've only been made aware recently that Kip Stagg, who starred with Edie Sedgwick in Beauty No. 1 and appeared in a couple of Warhol Screen Tests ( including footage described as a "four-minute long, silent double portrait of Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick and Columbia University student Kip Stagg" in volume 2 of the film catalogue raisonne. (p. 338)), died over a year ago in October 2021.

A January 2022 comment on HiFi Haven noted that he passed away on October 21st. By that time he had changed his name to Bima Stagg. More info on StaggTV where he is also credited as being the co-writer of the screenplay for The Stud (based on the novel by Jackie Collins).

His short film with Edie Sedgwick (in a similar format and length of a Warhol Screen Test) was shown by Hedges Projects March 15 - April 20, 2019 in L.A. and is thought to have been given to Pat Hackett by Andy Warhol. The four minute film is being sold for $100,000.

Mark Lancaster opens on Cork Street

Andy Warhol cohort and the lover of Jasper Johns, Mark Lancaster, at the Redfern Gallery on Cork Street in London

Mark Lancaster exhibition catalogue available online at ISSU

4 April 2023: An exhibition of paintings by Mark Lancaster, who appeared in Andy Warhol's Kiss (kissing Warhol's straight art assistant, Gerard Malanga), as well as Andy Warhol's semi-pornographic film, Couch and the unfinished Batman Dracula, opened on 5 April 2023 at the Redfern Gallery in London on Cork Street, accompanied by an exhibition catalogue with an excellent essay by art writer Ian Massey.

The works were surprisingly good - huge, complicated canvases that reflected the techniques of the time - from Color Field to Pop (sometimes without dropping the 'Pollockian' drip) - but avoiding the superficiality of eclecticism; filled with references that would be understood by other artists and art historians. An artist's artist in a show that should be brought to New York.

Strangely, one of his least interesting pieces - a mundane watercolour from 1960 in the entrance hallway of the gallery - seemed to be getting a lot of attention although it's probably the weakest work in the show.

Loved the 14th Street series which is reminiscent of the faded technique that Warhol used in paintings like his Sidney Janis and Nelson Rockefeller portrait series - but Mark's paintings aren't portraits, they're feelings.

Do not miss this exhibition. You are in for a surprise. The prices are also a surprise. They are incredibly underpriced. That will change as time goes on - my art spies tell me that a book is being prepared on Mark who was also Jasper Johns' long-term lover (after Robert Rauschenberg) and the Artistic Director of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. More in the Mark Lancaster interview.

R.I.P. Mark. You were missed at the PV. Richard Morphet, who you described as your "oldest friend, from age 14," in your interview and later became a curator and "Keeper of the Modern Collection" at the Tate Britain, was there - along with other art luminaries like Richard Wentworth.

FAME in Saudi Arabia

18 January 2023: FAME, an exhibition of works by Andy Warhol, will take place in Saudi Arabia from 17 February to 16 May 2023. Warhol was gay, of course, and being gay in Saudi Arabia is illegal. (See LGBT Rights in Saudi Arabia). The exhibition is produced in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

See: Why I Won’t Be Visiting the Warhol Show in Saudi Arabia by David Carrier in Hyperallergic.

Bibbe Hansen loves Paris in January 2023

8 January 2023: Bibbe Hansen will be performing at the launch party of the latest issue of Love Love magazine at La Fab in Paris on 21 January 2023 and YOU are invited. If you have never seen Bibbe do a reading before, don't miss it - she's an excellent performer and writer. Details at Love Love party.

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