The Velvet Underground Experience

An alternative title could have been ”The Andy Warhol Clan”.

The exhibition was set to explore how The Velvet Underground influenced modern music, fashion, art, and popular culture in Lou Reed’s native city. Yet, so many were the references to Andy Warhol, he might as well have been part of the band. One couldn’t take two steps in The City’s artistic sphere without stumbling upon Warhol. The man who created ”superstars” would become a superstar himself.

Marjorie Strider in front of Girl with Radish, 1965
This painting was the icon of the 1964 exhibition ”First International Girlie Show” at the Pace Gallery, where Strider exposed along with several soon-to-be stars of the movement, including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein

Nathan’s Famous, 1965
Gathering in front of a restaurant in Lou Reed’s favourite seaside resort, Coney Island. In May 1969, the Velvet Underground recorded a song called Coney Island Steeplechase. In 1975, Lou Reed’s fifth solo album was entitled Coney Island Baby.

Diane Arbus, 1967
The photographer participates in a pacifist and psychedelic gathering organized by New York students

Louise Bourgeois and Robert Goldwater, 1963
The French sculptor, a New Yorker by adoption, and the art historian Robert Goldwater, her husband, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

Edward Hopper, 1965
The painter of urban loneliness, facing his easel.  Is it possible that Edward Hopper had an impact on Lou Reed? The first song of The Velvet Underground & Nico, Sunday Morning, is a troubling reference to the atmosphere of Hopper’s 1930 painting, Early Sunday Morning

Death to the Highway!, 1962
Protest against the upcoming construction of an urban highway, the Lower Manhattan Expressway, which would have resulted in the expropriation of thousands of Greenwich Village residents. As a result of the mobilization, the project was abandoned

Andy Warhol and Julia Warhola

John Cale, Lou Reed and Andy Warhol at the Ocean Club, NYC
July 1976 – Photography by Bob Gruen

New York City

December 16th, 2018

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