“Dying is the most embarrassing thing that can ever happen to you, because someone’s got to take care of all your details.” – Andy Warhol
Not long ago I was in Manhattan around Union Square. I actually go there pretty often. It’s one of my favorite places in the city.
There’s a Barnes & Noble bookstore there that I always go to. I usually get an arm load of books and find a quite corner and spend some time reading.
There’s a Starbucks there as well and if it is really cold outside, I get a large hot chocolate and sit at the window and watch the crowds of people go by. It makes for a nice afternoon or early evening.
But on my last visit there, I was greeted by a very pleasant surprise. Right at the corner of 17th street and Broadway they have erected a monument to Andy Warhol.
I had my camera with me and I made a short video. To see the video on my youtube channel: Click here Gary Bolyer Fine Art.
It’s a short video, less than a minute. I took it at night and it has a kind of dream-like quality that I think Andy would have liked.
The statue is life-sized and the finish is a shiny silver, though it looks gold in my night-time video. He’s got his Polaroid camera around his neck and a Bloomingdale’s bag in his right hand.
I have to admit that I got kind of emotional, even a bit choked-up, looking at the statue. I felt like I was on sacred ground.
And so I stood in the dark for the longest while looking at this monumental figure of pop art all silver and silent. I thought about his incredible life and how it was cut short. I thought about this memorial of him, this melange of things permanent and things fleeting.
I thought about how many times he must have trekked through Union Square, maybe this exact spot, on his way to The Factory. And I did, in fact, shiver.
And as I stood alone in the silent city darkness looking up toward Andy as if he were almost a wingless angel ascending into the sky, I said a silent prayer for him.
And I said goodbye. I said goodbye to Andy Warhol as if I had known him all my life. I said goodbye to him as if we had once shared the same rooms and the same taverns, drank at the same bars, loitered on the same street corners. I said goodbye as if we had once walked these corridors a thousand times.
And in that moment of last and fleeting farewells, my soul swooned before his effigy rising up into an immense and everlasting darkness. My soul swooned still again as if to its final end.