Do you have a secret relationship with someone alive or dead, famous or infamous? Do you have that special someone that--through movies, books, hearsay, any way--you met and just know that the relationship would be socially unacceptable?
Do you have that special someone who, if everyone knew they were special to you, in the way they are to you, could launch you into the front seat of a bus to the mental institution?
I do. And that person is Andy Warhol.
I have several love interests who exist in alternate dimensions. But Andy is top. He won't be anything else. He just won't. It's not his nature. He is top. And so to be close to him, it is my nature to keep him there.
I finished Andy’s philosophy book the other day, a book I took on many dinners alone to feel close to him. I don't feel alone actually. With his words, I feel closer to someone than I have in a long time ... if I was ever so close to anyone at all. I will reread it for comfort and research his other books.
He is an opinionated genius of few words and many brilliant ideas.
I need someone opinionated in my world. Someone who doesn’t fall over. He doesn't. He doesn't know how. He is such a lovely, lovely man.
I don’t care what it gives me to admit it because it has already given me so much to tap into it. His essence. He was so generous to express it, so brave, so absolutely pure and real about what he was seeing. There is so much love in it. But it is not a love that is expressed with the expectation of understanding what it means. That--I am discovering through spending time with his essence--is not really love at all. Love is sacrificing everything at its very alter.
Love is actually often discovered through incredible bouts of rejection, abandonment and neglect by society--so much so that one is forced to dig in another direction. Deep inside themselves they find it, more than a massive hope diamond--it is a light to the world. It is the authentic self expressed with increasing clarity over time.
And everything that it is exposed to it turns to art.
There exists controversy around how Andy treated people. But I wonder how other people treated him. If you look at how I treat people, it isn't always nice, but it's honest. It's usually nice, don't get me wrong. But everyone, whether famous or hiding in a cave in India, acts on their own volition. Everyone hurts someone else just by being themselves. The key is to know that you must be yourself, in connection with your highest purpose, which is a love of your life itself, enough to risk and save it, no matter what.
Andy's work is so open to interpretation that it might naturally attract ego-driven analytical opinions that I feel would strangle the point. So let my ego offer another one. I think he is okay with me doing this.
The point is that there is none. The point is actually just to feel. To register what is going on and to integrate that into your view of reality without having to spew logic around it and box it in and expect an award for "figuring it out."
I offer Andy's electric chair prints as an example. I mean, what a statement. Here it is: an electric chair. In all colors. Spend TIME with it. Sink INto it. Find out what it really means to be with this thing. How does it feel to know it exists? How are we as humans to feel when we know this thing exists?
He doesn’t at all expect you to feel like he does. Because you will never really know. In fact, inside ourselves, our feelings and opinions age and change like cheese. So if we opine, we are locked in the past by that very act.
Andy gives space to enter a concept, and through what he does and doesn’t say, does and doesn’t write, does and doesn’t paint, does and doesn’t create, he just invites you to it.
He is SO out of the way.
When I read his writing, it inspires me so greatly. I see that he is not in the way … he is unabashedly sharing his thoughts, his world, his POV. And it’s generous in what he DOESN’T say.
He doesn’t expect you to feel anything. He LETS you feel everything around what he is saying. He doesn’t prompt you. He allows you.
It’s magical how he is.
Here is a Campbell’s soup can. Look at it. I mean, spend TIME with it. Understand it. What does it mean to YOU? How does it make you feel? The familiarity, the brand, the WAY it is. The reality of it; how it impacts society … the impermanence of its appeal. Almost as if it was vintage while it was popular. That is the Campbell’s soup can, to me.
I am exploring his mindset. He shared it. He made it so obvious yet so out of reach, but when he is your closet obsession, you start to understand it ... a little and enough to catalyze something inside. This is the generosity of an artist at its best.