Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol

Twentieth century pop art icon Andy Warhol would have been 89 years old today.  Though born on August 6th, 1928 in Pittsburgh, Warhol’s life as an artist and visual pioneer was very much about New York, largely downtown New York.  Warhol certainly made his mark on the Village and East Village, and both, in turn, made their mark on him.

a

Andy Warhol, August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987

Warhol’s life downtown is too extensive to chronicle here.  But two spots strongly associated with Warhol particularly stand out.

a

Arlington Hall in the 1980’s, where Warhol’s Electric Circus was located.

Andy Warhol’s Electric Circus at 23 St. Mark’s Place, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, was a landmark of 60’s alternative culture.  Music merged with visual and performance art in this space that launched the careers of the Velvet Underground, among many others.  The building started as several townhouses which were merged first into a German social hall and then a Polish eatery.  Warhol and his partner Paul Morrisey took over the space in 1966.  The Electric Circus marked what many consider to be the high water mark of Warhol’s impact upon popular culture.

bowery boys

Interior of the Electric Circus.  Image via theboweryboys.blogspot.com.

Just a few blocks north and few years later we find another important Warhol landmark, the second “Factory” at which many of Warhol’s silkscreens and movies were produced.  Located on the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West, just north of 16th Street, this is perhaps the most infamous of Warhol’s three “Factory” locations as it was here that he was shot on June 3, 1968, by Valerie Solanas (read more about that here).  Warhol survived the shooting — just barely — but it radically changed his life and art.  After the shooting, he became frailer and more private, and his art more directly commercially oriented.  There has been some speculation that the wound contributed to his untimely death in February of 1987 following routine galbalder surgery.

a

The Decker Building — home of Warhol’s second factory, and where he was shot by Valerie Solanas in 1968.

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Andrew Berman

Andrew Berman has been the Executive Director of GVSHP since 2002.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
One comment on “Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol
  1. Andrew Berman andrew gibson says:

    after finishing up an apprentiship with Peter Agostini I found work renovating Robert Rauschenburg`s [ Sp !] new studio on Great Jones St off the Bowery . Of course all has changed since then 1965 era Even Peters old loft on 12th and ave b is now a parking lot .I remember there was a boys catholic building that closed off great jones st .Am I wrong ? 48 years is a long long time especially with the movement at the time Cheers andrew

6 Pings/Trackbacks for "Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol"
  1. […] [TRD] · A $999,999 townhouse sale probably set a record for eastern Bed-Stuy ['Stoner] · On his birthday, explore Andy Warhol’s Village and East Village haunts [GVSHP] · Let’s check out the under-construction 1 Hotel Central Park on 58th and Sixth […]

  2. […] Andy Warhol’s Village (Off the Grid) […]

  3. […] by an NYU law school dormitory). Taken by their unique sound, Warhol invited the group into his world and eventually became its manager. Reed and the Velvet Underground would participate in Warhol’s […]

  4. […] by an NYU law school dormitory). Taken by their unique sound, Warhol invited the group into his world and eventually became its manager. Reed and the Velvet Underground would participate in Warhol’s […]

  5. […] In the 1940s Capote wrote mainly short stories, but is most remembered for his later works, 1958’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s and 1959’s In Cold Blood. He had complex relationships with fellow Greenwich Village residents and habitués like Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal and Andy Warhol. […]

  6. […] gritty and transgressive side of downtown New York in the early 1970’s, using the lives of five Andy Warhol “superstars” whom Reed knew to varying degrees to paint that […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*