The Andy Monument (Public Art Fund)

The Andy Monument and Bloom
The Andy Monument and Bloom

Since Yesterday was sculpture and public ART it seemed logical to continue and chat today about Andy Warhol, his statute in Union Square and his art. Like yesterday, this post also has multi parts. #1 is Andy Warhol and his statue. #2 is the Public Art Fund Project. #3 is Food is an art at LAUT.

ART #1
Union Square is one of New York City’s most active social, cultural, and commercial centers. It is home to many well-known monuments, including statues of George Washington and Mahatma Gandhi. From 1968 to 1984 it was the location of Andy Warhol’s Factory, where he and his collaborators reinvented the conventional artist’s studio, producing silkscreen paintings, films, music, books, magazines, and more. With his Union Square Factory as a creative hub, Warhol became synonymous with the Downtown art scene.

Inspired by Warhol’s art and life, Rob Pruitt (b. 1964, Washington DC) created The Andy Monument as a tribute to the late artist. It stands on the street corner, just as Warhol did when he signed and gave away copies of Interview magazine. Pruitt’s sculpture adapts and transforms the familiar tradition of classical statuary. The figure is based on a combination of digital scanning of a live model and hand sculpting, its surface finished in chrome, mounted on a concrete pedestal. It depicts Warhol as a ghostly, silver presence: a potent cultural force as both artist and self-created myth.  As Rob Pruitt observes, “Like so many other artists and performers and people who don’t fit in because they’re gay or otherwise different, Andy moved here to become who he was, to fulfill his dreams and make it big. He still represents that courage and that possibility. That’s why I came to New York, and that’s what my Andy Monument is about.”  Nicholas Baume Director & Chief Curator, Public Art Fund”  http://www.publicartfund.org/robpruitt/project

When: Wednesday, March 30 to Sunday, October 2, 2011 Where:  17th Street & Broadway.

Rob Pruitt’s larger-than-life sculpture of famed pop artist Andy Warhol is the first public art installation to grace the Union Square district’s new pedestrian plazas at 17th Street & Broadway.

Inspired by Warhol’s art and life, Pruitt created The Andy Monument as a tribute to the late artist. It stands on the street corner, as Warhol did when he signed and gave away copies of Interview magazine just a few steps away from the entrance to where one of the Pop Art pioneer’s legendary Factory spaces once stood. The figure is based on a combination of digital scanning of a live model and hand sculpting, its surface finished in chrome, mounted on a concrete pedestal. It depicts Warhol as a ghostly, silver presence: a potent cultural force as both artist and self-created myth.

As Rob Pruitt observes, “Like so many other artists and performers and people who don’t fit in because they’re gay or otherwise different, Andy moved here to become who he was, to fulfill his dreams and make it big. He still represents that courage and that possibility. That’s why I came to New York, and that’s what my Andy Monument is about.”  http://www.unionsquarenyc.org/

Here are some nice facts to know about know Warhol: “Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator, and a very successful one, doing jobs like shoe ads for I. Miller in a stylish blotty line that derived from Ben Shahn. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1961-62. From then on, most of Warhol’s best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. And it all flowed from one central insight: that in a culture glutted with information, where most people experience most things at second or third hand through TV and print, through images that become banal and disassociated by repeated again and again and again, there is role for affectless art. You no longer need to be hot and full of feeling. You can be supercool, like a slightly frosted mirror. Not that Warhol worked this out; he didn’t have to. He felt it and embodied it. He was a conduit for a sort of collective American state of mind in which celebrity – the famous image of a person, the famous brand name – had completely replaced both sacredness and solidity.” http://www.artchive.com/artchive/W/warhol.html

Once again Bloom wanted to experience this art FIRST HAND (not as most people experience most things at second or third hand)- so up he hops, we snap a photo, and as he stands there for a while we are both thinking. Taking in the night sights we can see of Union Square, the noise, the scents, the folks passing by… we wonder what is was like to BE Andy Warhol, Bloom tries to feel it, to feel SUPER Cool – to be THE ONE– the IT guy for 15 minuets, or for 6 years. Like Yesterday we have again have a  “force” this time as both artist and self-created myth.Would you want “it? ”

ART #2 http://www.publicartfund.org/

“The Public Art Fund is New York’s leading presenter of artists’ projects, new commissions, and exhibitions in public spaces. For over 30 years the Public Art Fund has been committed to working with emerging and established artists to produce innovative exhibitions of contemporary art throughout New York City. By bringing artworks outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, the Public Art Fund provides a unique platform for an unparalleled public encounter with the art of our time…. Since 1977 (it’s beginnings) , Public Art Fund has presented more than five hundred artists’ projects throughout New York, making it possible for artists to engage diverse audiences and, along the way, redefine what public art is in relation to the changing nature of contemporary art. A comprehensive list of past projects can be found in our online archives, which are continually updated.”

How cool is that!
Art for the masses, art for the public, art where it can be seen and experienced by anyone who happens past it as we did.  Art for some who will make a destination to go and see, just like a museum -but so easy! I love Public art! Then to add to the coolness- there is a webpage just for Andy. The Public Art fund has done an amazing job; free smartphone app, free Audio Tour, Artist Talks and more- Check it out!!!!  http://www.publicartfund.org/robpruitt/

ART #3 This eve Bloom I had an AMAZING dinner at LAUT (http://lautnyc.com/) if  you have not tried it yet you need to RUN, not walk, downtown to them. The food (which is an art form itself) was the best meal I had had in a long time. The owner is charming and knows his foods, the cook must be amazing +++  for that how good the food is. “Lurking in all the fusion in this restaurant near Union Square is some of the best Malaysian food in Manhattan…Laut is well worth a visit.”www.nytimes.com/   RESTAURANT REVIEW | LAUT. It was after leaving the restaurant we stumbled upon the Andy Monument. Bloom jumps up – and insist I take a photo of him and Andy!


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