Warhol Beyond the Grave

Maddie Lewis | April 2017

Thirty years after Warhol’s death, Revolver Gallery began their new exhibition–Andy Warhol: Revisited. After visiting our exhibition, one may wish to reconnect with Andy in more ways than one. The largest museum collection of Warhol’s works, The Andy Warhol Museum, created a unique way to pay your respects to Andy.

In 2013, in honor of the 25th anniversary of Andy’s birthday, The Andy Warhol Museum partnered with EarthCam to create a 24/7 live camera feed of Warhol’s grave, which lies near his hometown of Pittsburg. This project, titled Figment, is still being broadcasted worldwide and can be viewed at earthcam.com/warhol. If you’re feeling sentimental, the website allows you to send flowers or soup cans to adorn his memorial, and, consequently, watch them be delivered over the live feed.

The project’s title, Figment, is based off a quote by Warhol in regards to his grave:
“I never understood why when you died, you didn’t just vanish, and everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn’t be there. I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name.

Well, actually, I’d like it to say ‘figment.’”

Figment is in a similar vein to film projects that Warhol created over his lifetime. Andy’s first film, Sleep (1963), depicted a long take of John Giorno sleeping for five hours and twenty minutes. His next film, Empire, featured a single stationary shot of the Empire State Building for eight hours, five minutes at 16 fps (filmed 8:06 p.m. to 2:42 a.m., July 25–26, 1964). Both films are quite long, and to Warhol, the point of Empire is to “see time go by”.

As he was enamored with fame, Andy most likely would be amused to find that people can watch his grave every minute of every day. It’s possible that he could have set it up the project himself if the technology existed before his passing. Regardless, Warhol remains one of the most famous artists in the world, even beyond the grave.