New Yorkers share many unspoken understandings about the city. Do not ride an empty subway car, grab a slice at Joe’s Pizza in the East Village, and avoid the abyss that lays between West 42nd Street and West 47th Street. Luckily this May, the mental veil around Times Square will fall as the iconic American pop artist inhabits the streets of the Big Apple.
In the 1960s, Andy Warhol built the infamous Silver Factory, a former art studio and hip hangout in New York City. Within these walls, creativity flourished as artists, celebrities and superstars not only accompanied Warhol in his social life, but in his art works and films as well.
When the clock strikes 11:57 pm every night in May, Times Square will be the site of cinematic flashback starring Warhol socialites in “Midnight Moment”, New York’s monthly program to transform a space for art and reflection. Presented by The Times Square Advertising Coalition and Time Square Arts, rare three-minute screen tests from Warhol’s Factory will be revealed on electronic billboards typically reserved for advertisements.
Between 1964 to 1966, Warhol shot over 500 silent, slow-motion films on 16mm black-and-white portraits depicting the lives of popular individuals who frequented the factory, including Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Rufus Collins, Edie Sedgwick, Allen Ginsberg and Nico. Warhol’s films were motivated by his fascination with individuals and his desire to capture the actual experience of living.
Midnight Moment is an indication of Warhol’s effervescent influence on art, history and pop culture that continues to be relevant in New York’s most bustling hubs.
As said by Andy Warhol, “What I liked was chunks of time all together, every real moment…I only wanted to find great people and let them be themselves…and I’d film them for a certain length of time and that would be the movie.” (POPism: The Warhol ‘60s)
For more information, visit Times Square Arts.
Photo Credit: Warhol’s screen test on Edie Sedgwick (1965)