In 1949, a young man moved to New York City and began a career in magazine illustration and advertising. This eccentric young man moved into the artistic and Music circles with ease and quickly became a leader in the Avant- guard movement that would be a visual representation of New York, and he too would become synonymous with the New York experience, in fact he would be New York, but we would all know him as Andy Warhol. In his life, Andy Warhol would be on the cutting edge of everything, and anyone who knew him or would be with him would be graced with good fortune, he would also inspire others to greatness. There are many artists in the music world that have created moving musical observations on Warhol that, maybe without knowing it perfectly reflected on the life and times of an artistic genus.
Sony Music and Legacy Recordings bring to you 15 Minutes, an audio homage to Andy Warhol 15 Minutes has been curated, assembled and produced by Warhol associate and conceptualist Jeff Gordon, and his partner Path Soong for Wu-Shan Inc. Gordon, who knew and admired Warhol, has been producing original sound recordings and prints by visual artists and poets for 25 years. Soong is a respected and well-known abstract black-and-white painter. In the early ’80s, Gordon conceptualized the idea of producing recordings (spoken word, sound pieces, and music) by visual artists, most of who had never been in a recording studio. Revolutions Per Minute (1982) packaged 20 of these recordings on a double LP, in a box with 20 visual prints by the 20 artists. The idea turned into a traveling exhibition, and the boxes were purchased by art world collectors, museums, galleries, and audio connoisseurs. Deluxe boxes contained signed prints, while regular boxes contained unsigned prints.
In 1995, Gordon and Soong produced Two Dialogues, a CD that featured the only known recorded interview with Jackson Pollock, together with a later extensive conversation with Lee Krasner. All sales royalties went to benefit the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. In 2005, Gordon and Soong created “31 Stones,” a site-specific installation of visual and audio art, at the Pollock-Krasner House.
For the deluxe box set of 15 Minutes, each artist has created a unique visual work which will be represented as a 12×12-inch square silkscreen print. Among the contributions are Bob Dylan’s painting for the cover of his Self Portrait album (1970); photographer Nat Finkelstein’s black-and-white image of “Andy, Bobby [Dylan] and Elvis”; and Patti Smith’s poem “Edie Sedgwick (1943-1971)” (first published in Patti’s 1972 book, Seventh Heaven), super-imposed over a photographic image of Edie. The silkscreens are individually printed by Alexander Heinrici, one of Warhol’s most trusted silk screeners. Heinrici created the original silkscreens for Warhol’s world-renowned “Mao,” “Flowers” and “Merce Cunningham 1,” among others. Each will be numbered, signed or stamped by its creator(s). However, there are two exceptions. Ivan Karp, the art dealer who first championed Warhol’s paintings, only provides an audio track (no silkscreen). And Berlin and Fremont collaborated on the same piece. So there will be a total of 16 silkscreens in the box.
In addition, each contributor will be represented by an original recording, ranging from music to spoken word (poetry, reminiscences) to abstract sound. These recordings will span three CDs, and will also be repeated across four vinyl LPs. Among the contributions are Bob Dylan’s classic “When I Paint My Masterpiece” (1971), and Patti Smith’s new recording of “Edie.” Berlin and Fremont again collaborated on one piece (the 40-minute “Conversation,” which occupies all of CD Two, and both sides of the third LP). So there will be a total of 17 unique recordings in the box. The deluxe version of the 15 Minutes box (limited to 85 copies) will be handmade and wrapped in black silk. It will house the 16 numbered silkscreens hand-printed by Heinrici. Along with the artwork are the three CDs and four vinyl LPs, plus individual photographs of each of the 18 contributors. The regular version of the 15 Minutes box (limited to 1,964 copies) will house color offset lithographs of the 16 artworks (not signed), along with the three CDs and four vinyl LPs, and the photographs of the contributors. This release has coincided with Andy Warhol’s birthday (August 6th), Legacy Recordings has released the most ambitious multi-artist, multimedia project upon which it has ever embarked.
15 MINUTES: HOMAGE TO ANDY WARHOL, created with the full approval of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, is headlined by Columbia Records artists Bob Dylan and Patti Smith, and 16 other world-renowned fine artists, poets, painters, photographers, actors, and musicians. “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” Andy Warhol famously said in 1968.
15 Minutes is certain to be the most talked-about project of this fall’s box set season. It will gather silkscreen prints and original recordings, created by 18 of the most prominent artists who were associated with or have been influenced by Andy Warhol. In addition to Bob Dylan and Patti Smith, there will be contributions from (in alphabetical order): Yura Adams, Connie Beckley, Brigid Berlin, Susan Breen, Nat Finkelstein Vincent Fremont, John Giorno, Jeff Gordon, Alexander Heinrici, Ivan Karp, Christopher Makos, Billy Name, Carter Ratcliff, Path Soong, Ultra Violet, and Lawrence Weiner.
The limited-edition 12×12 box set, with a lift-off lid, is a D2C (Direct to Consumer) exclusive. It is available now for pre-order at fifteenminutesonline.com in advance of the August 2nd release date through Legacy Recordings, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. There will be two versions of the 15 Minutes box set: a deluxe edition strictly limited to 85 copies, priced at $20,000 – and a standard version strictly limited to 1,964 copies, priced at $600.
The 15 Minutes Art and Sound box set will be the focal point of a traveling exhibition that will appear in major museums and universities worldwide, through 2012 and beyond. The exhibition will open August 4th (through October 29th) at the Pollock-Krasner House in East Hampton, New York. It is also set for exhibition starting October 1st (through Jan. 8th) at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
I have listened to several tracks from this collection and it is quite formidable, I especially liked “When I Paint My Masterpiece” by Bob Dylan, “Warhol Soundfield 467” by Susan Breen and “Edie Sedgwick” by Patti Smith, again these artists have created audio images of Andy Warhol that truly encompasses his life in sound. I only wish I could have been around to see and experience all of what this collection represents, but for those of us who were not able to be at The Warehouse, this collection will help us experience the magic that happened there.
“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” – Andy Warhol