Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Shooting of Andy Warhol: A Short Short Story

T. Renner, "Red Typewriter," ballpoint pen and gouache on paper, 2003-2009, 4" x 3.25".

Way back when (October 22, 2003), I attended an event for teachers (not that I was one but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time) at the St. Louis Art Museum. The event was called "In the Write Space" and involved various workshops in various galleries at SLAM.

One of these workshops was "Parking Space: Letters, Journaling, and Diaries," led by Stephanie Sigala, in a contemporary furniture gallery. Items in the gallery included "Valentine Portable Typewriter" designed by Ettore Sottass, Jr.; the "'Mezzadro' Stool" (Tractor chair) designed by Achille Castiglioni; 'Baolum' Lamp," designed by Gianfranco Frattini; and "'Toio' Floor Lamp," designed by Castiglioni.

One of Stephanie's assignments was for students to sketch the typewriter (color added recently) shown above.

Another of her assignments was to imagine three items in a room and describe what happened in the room on a specific date. Stephanie offered "extra credit" for describing May 4, 1970:

It’s Andy Warhol’s Factory, New York, NY. It’s 2:00 p.m., May 4, 1970. A photo shoot is in progress. Click-whirrr-click. “That’s it, baby. Um, sell it to me. That’s right, make me, um, feel it.”

Andy has Ultraviolet sitting in the tractor chair with the “Toio” lamp providing the light. It’s not enough so Andy has her drape a Boalum lamp around her shoulders. The lamp is a glowing plastic coil, as if someone has stuck a strand of Xmas lights inside of a hairdryer hose.

Suddenly, there is shouting. “Where is he?! Where is he?!” It’s Valerie Salonas, she’s looking for Andy Warhol, and she’s mad.

“Look out! Look out, Andy,” someone screams. It’s too late, though. Valerie has gotten close to Andy, stuck her gun in his belly, and pulled the trigger. BLAM!, like that. Real loud, louder than on TV.

Everyone in the room rushes to Andy’s side. Solanas is wrestled, not gently, to the ground.

“Oh, Andy, poor Andy,” says Ultraviolet.

[Originally posted on Tony Renner, Artist, Wednesday, February 25, 2009.]

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Red Drapes

She was totally paralyzed after
A few glasses of champagne and
After all that noise, she
Stayed there and opened up
He examined her, approving

She did not consider
What had occurred
When she saw the heavy red drapes
Early in the morning over
And around her long legs

"Goodbye," he said, and
"You figure it out."

[Originally posted on September 28, 2009.]