15 Minutes: An Homage to Andy Warhol

Betsy Bloom

Andy Warhol, American artist and icon, was the first to say, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” A true visionary for his time, Warhol was right in many ways. With the advent of reality television and YouTube, everyone in the world has the potential to achieve fame, however brief it may be. Warhol’s fame, on the other hand, has not been short-lived. His legacy lives on and his work continues to be a major influence in art and design today.

Artist Jeff Gordon and his wife and fellow artist, Path Soong, rec-ognized Warhol’s modern relevance and decided to organize an art project as an homage to his life.

Gordon, who insists, “If anybody asks me, in 10 words or less, what I do, I have no answer,” truly does have a complicated career.

He encourages artists to express themselves through sound as well as visual media by creating albums that are a combination of video and audio art. Gordon has had great success producing these types of albums over the years, and he and Soong’s most recent project, 15 Minutes: An Homage to Andy Warhol, is currently on display at Case Geyer Library.

Gordon first had the idea to work on this type of project in the early 1980s, when he was working as an album producer in SoHo.

“One day, I was sitting around and I said, ‘Why don’t we make a record with painters?’ I went down to an art gallery in SoHo and I asked to get one or two visual artists down to the studio. I ended up getting twenty visual artists.” Gordon recalls that “the process of getting someone to record that had never recorded before was great.”

Some of the participating artists chose to simply create sounds; others used spoken word and a few composed songs. Gordon was excited to see these visual artists express themselves in different ways.

“Creation is creation. How you choose to express yourself is your prerogative, but it’s creation,” he said.

For the album, which he titled Revolutions Per Minute, Gordon had the artists record their audio and design a 12-by-12-inch record cover to accompany it. The finished product was displayed at a SoHo gallery, where the album covers were displayed with headphones and a cassette player.

“The line to get in was four blocks long…I thought someone was doing a Picasso or a Warhol show,” Gordon recalled.

The exhibit was highly successful, running for four months before moving to the Tate Gallery in London. It received a great deal of press, including a story by Andy Warhol’s magazine, Interview.

“After that, I said, ‘I’m never going to produce a band again, I’m only going to do artists,'” Gordon declared.

Gordon has been true to his word. His 1995 album, Two Dialogues, fea-tures the only recorded interview with abstract painter Jackson Pollock, as well as a conversation with his wife, Lee Krasner. In 2005, he and Soong pro-duced 31 Stones, a site-specific installation displayed at the Pollock-Krasner house. For 15 Minutes, Gordon and Soong recruited artists who had unique relationships with Warhol, from his photographer Christopher Makos to his master silk-screener Alexander Heinrici. There’s even a track by Bob Dylan, “When I Paint My Mas-terpiece,” accompanied by a self-portrait under the same name.

The exhibit will be up at Case Library until May 20. In September, it will move to June Kel-ly Gallery in New York City before moving on to museums worldwide. Its run at Colgate may be longer than 15 min-utes, but it’s not very long, so be sure to catch it before it’s too late.

Contact Betsy Bloom at [email protected].