Ringling College Gives Warhol His 15 Minutes And More
The halls of the Willis Smith Gallery at Ringling College of Art and Design rang with the pop and whir of Polaroid cameras last night, as visitors celebrated the opening of the gallery’s latest exhibition, Fifteen Minutes: Homage to Andy Warhol. Marking 30 years since Warhol’s passing, the show remembers the American artist and cultural icon through the words, music and images of the collaborators, friends and colleagues who populated his studio, The Factory.
Curated and produced by conceptual artist Jeff Gordon and painter Path Soong, the show comprises 17 stations along the stark white walls of Willis Smith. Each station bears a single image the size of an album cover and a pair of black headphones waiting to be worn. Through the headphones, audio accompaniment—songs, poetry, stories—paired with each particular image reveals something more about the man and the myth known as Andy Warhol. At one end, a self-portrait in oil on canvas by Bob Dylan with his song, “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” playing through the headphones; at the other, Christopher Makos’ famous photograph of Warhol placing an affectionate peck on John Lennon’s cheek. Punk icon Patti Smith makes an appearance, as does Factory archivist Billy Name, Warhol superstar Brigid Berlin and a dozen more writers, photographers and artists of all stripes.
“Andy Warhol is a classic and will continue to nourish students and the arts community at large for many years to come,” says Ringling College’s Tim Jaeger. “But for me personally, it’s not just the work that nourishes my creativity, it’s also the fact that it’s a large piece of American history from the Pop Art era.”
According to Ringling College Chief Curator Mark Ormond, the man who brought Fifteen Minutes to Sarasota, the show allows viewers not only a glimpse of Warhol as a person, but also, through the breadth of his circle, a better understanding of his impact. “Through the minds and hands and voices of the seventeen people who contributed work to this exhibition, visitors can see and understand something about who Warhol was, what he did and how he broke down the barriers between high and low art,” he says. “His influence as an illustrator, artist, filmmaker and writer was enormous.”
Fifteen Minutes: Homage to Andy Warhol runs in the Willis Smith Gallery at Ringling College of Art and Design through March 18.
Pictured: Nat Finkelstein's 1965 photograph, "Andy, Bobby and Elvis." Courtesy of Ringling College.