Celebrate Andy Warhol: Get Real by Being (inevitably) Plastic

For some of us, the best way to transform ourselves as authentic human beings is to recreate ourselves as something we’re not. Does this make us fake? Could be. And so what if it does? If nothing else, Warholian wisdom teaches us this:

Fake is the new real.

At Andy Warhol’s Birthday Celebration at Playthink Studio on 8.08.08 at 8, we invite you to come steep in the paradox of deep superficiality, superficial depth, false authenticity, and authentic falseness.

And now for your oxymoronic pleasure, I present eight more ways to celebrate the birth of Andy Warhol.

#25. Create a Warholian Portrait. And while you’re at it fake it up. Andy was sought after by celebrities as a portrait artist not only because he was so famous, but also because his graphic style (using highly contrasted, washed-out silkscreen prints) made everyone look really good. No wrinkles. No age spots. Try this nifty gadjet, and do it yourself digitally! See what I mean?

#26. Create a message for your own tombstone. Andy said, “I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph, and no name. Well, actually, I’d like it to say ‘figment.’” What would your tombstone say?

#27. Play with plastic.Our participatory arts extravaganza will provide the plastic, you supply the imagination. At Playthink’s Silver factory on 8/08/08 you’re invited to use plastic to create yourself.“I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” We challenge you to create yourself as a plastic icon. Recreate yourself. Reinvent yourself again and again and again. And, on this night of Andy’s birthday, you can be as fake as you wanna be.

#28. Change your name. Andrew Warhola not only changed his name, but he hung out with other name changers as well. Christa Päffgen became Nico. Truman Streckfus Persons became Truman Capote. Billy Linich became Billy Name. Ultra Violet was once Isabelle Collin. Candy Darling was born James Lawrence Slattery. Who will will you be?

#29. Confess your sins and admit how fake you are. “I am a deeply superficial person,” said Warhol. If Warhol can admit to the depth of his shallowness, we can, too. (Playthink Learning Studio is equipped with its own confessional booth for your reconciliatory indulgences.)

#30. Now that you’ve confessed, go to mass. Andy may have celebrated the fake, but he also seemed to have a deeply authentic religious side as well. According to James Romain in Transubstatiating the Culture,

With family roots in Byzantine-Slavic Catholicism, Warhol kept a homemade altar with a crucifix and well-worn prayer book beside his bed. He frequently visited Saint Vincent Ferrer’s Church on Lexington Avenue. The pastor of Saint Vincent’s confirmed that Warhol visited the church almost daily. He would come in mid-afternoon, light a candle, and pray for fifteen minutes, sometimes making use of the intimacy of the private chapels. The pastor described Warhol as intensely shy and private, especially regarding his religion. Warhol’s brother has characterized him as “really religious, but he didn’t want people to know about that because [it was] private.” For someone so bent on self-protection, Warhol’s efforts to keep his religious life a secret may indicate just how important his faith was to him.

#31. I don’t mean to nag, but have you bought your wig yet?

#32. And while you’re at it, don’t forget your brows. Andy said, “I had a lot of dates but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.” You can dye your brows (here’s how), but don’t stay home on August 8. Come out and show them off!

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