‘15 Minutes: Homage to Andy Warhol’ Reimagines His Ideas

Michael Bonanni, Senior Staff Writer

From January 28 to March 1, Andy Warhol’s influences were felt in Oneonta. The “15 Minutes” exhibit featured about 16 different pieces of artwork that were also accompanied by audio from an mp3 player. The pictures were paired up with large and small prints of the same piece, but had a simple linear set up that went around the Project Space Gallery in the Fine Arts building of SUNY Oneonta.

Besides drawing influence from Warhol’s work and compiling some work from acquaintances of his, the other main draw to the gallery was the addition of the audio partnered with each piece, a unique concept, especially to the gallery. The audio ranged from spoken word pieces to discussions. Others sounded like crazy experimental art pieces themselves. These included “Um..Yes, Um…No,” a picture depicting a box of soap, that took inspiration from Warhol’s style of painting everyday objects. The track paired with it included 15 minutes of someone saying “Um…yes! Um…no” which definitely left an impression on art-goers. The only other piece to match this was only one painting away, called “Nebula.” It was a beautiful picture of a nebula, but the audio that goes with it was 11 minutes of someone going “crang” or “crong” which would be followed by a dissonant electronic buzz.

Another notable piece was a portrait done by Bob Dylan, who was an acquaintance of Warhol’s. The song paired with the piece was an original of Dylan’s called “When I Paint My Masterpiece.” Famous poet Patti Smith had her poem “Edie” featured on a piece, which talked about Edie Sedgwick. Other artists included Ivan Karp, Billy Name, Ultra Violet, Lawrence Weiner, Carter Ratcliff, John Giorno, Vincent Fremont, Alexander Heinrici, Brigid Berlin, Christopher Makos, Yura Adams, Nat Finkelstein, Connie Beckley, Susan Breen, Path Soong and Jeff Gordon.

On February 28, Gordon and Soong came to the gallery to do a talk and answer questions about the gallery, the pieces and Warhol. Every piece seemed to have a story and some sort of interesting detail to it. A surprising detail to everyone was in the untitled piece by Fremont & Berlin, where she contributed to the piece by putting a copy of her boob onto the bottom right corner of the picture. It was a small turn out for the event, but it was also held at four in the afternoon on a snow filled Thursday. Many who attended the talk enjoyed intently listening to what both Gordon and Soong had to say. Soong was one of the artists in the gallery who did not personally know Warhol. She submitted a piece to the gallery that features a woman with a chair on her back. One person asked for some advice from Gordon about collaborating and his answer was “start naked.” He warned, “leave your ego at the door…if you go in with an ego, don’t even try [to collaborate].”

Jeff Gordon had spent the past 35 years collecting the pieces into the exhibit and has taken it on tour internationally from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Beijing, China. It came to Oneonta after Gordon met up with Oneonta gallery director Tim Sheesley. “A mutual friend introduced me to Tim and we met up in Norwich” said Gordon. Both Soong and Gordon also really liked the space that the Project Space Gallery offered, “The installation here is beautiful,” he said. The exhibit is currently relocating to Fly Creek over by Cooperstown, but the pieces and songs can be found on the official website at fifteenminutesonline.com.

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