Monday, June 6, 2011


And speaking of art and food, I see that the Andy Monument has been erected in New York’s Union Square.  It’s a statue of Andy Warhol, by Rob Pruitt, and as you see, it’s life-size and silvered (actually chrome, apparently).  That’s a Bloomingdale’s shopping in his hand, and there’s a Polaroid camera round his neck.

It seems that the human instinct to make altars and shrines instantly came into play in Union Square and empty soup cans and flowers were immediately arranged around the base of the statue.  Not exactly inventive, but given some of Warhol’s other works (I’m thinking of the “oxidation” paintings) this is definitely a blessing.

Of course, it’s impossible to think of Warhol without thinking of Campbell’s soup, and the more you think about it, the more of a foodie he seems.

He made the movie Eat (above) in 1963 or 4 (scholars differ), a 45 minute movie of Robert Indiana eating mushrooms (very slowly).

In homage (for want of a better word) to this, in the 1980s Warhol appeared in a Japanese TV commercial for Burger King, which lasts just under 4 and a half minutes and shows him eating a burger, at more or less natural speed, but it’s far less compelling than Eat. Warhol seems painfully ill at ease in front of the camera.  Equally he’s not the guy making the movie.  He also looks extremely thin, which I take it owes more to speed than to burgers.

I found myself browsing through the Warhol diaries and there’s quite a bit of fun stuff related to food in there.  He goes to the Four Seasons restaurant: the place is packed: the food is terrible.

Priscilla Presley comes by the office for an interview and reveals that she never ate caviar in all the years she spent with Elvis: he’d have thrown her out of the house if he’d ever seen her eating fish.

Warhol goes to the Stage Delicatessen for “good Jewish Celebrity sandwiches” and says, “The ‘Diana Ross’ was the worst, though – liver with jelly and peanut butter.”

And best of all he meets Famous Amos, he of chocolate chip cookie fame, and asks the brilliant, idiot-savant question of why the cookies look different on the pack than they do in reality.  Amos says it would take too long to cook them so they looked that way.  Warhol raised no objection.  He understands perfectly that there need be no consistency between form and content.

I like the Andy Monument well enough but actually I think I prefer this one, in Bratislava. 
Call me naïve, but somehow it just looks more like him.

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