Alexa Montgomery | November 2016
Andy Warhol is one of the most highly regarded artists in the pop art world; however, his presence in the world of music should not be undermined. Warhol not only managed and produced the rock band, The Velvet Underground but also, created the cover art for 53 albums across an array of genres. Warhol’s latest contribution to the world of music comes as a tribute from Sean Lennon, son of Beatles legend John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The Beatles star’s son recorded a song titled “Love and Warhol” for a traveling exhibition beginning in New York this fall.
Lennon states, “Being raised by a single mom, I was always looking for some kind of paternal influence,” the singer/songwriter says of Warhol, whom he met as a child. “Andy was like an eccentric uncle to me. He taught me a lot about art and humor.” He also mentions specific instances of meeting with Warhol saying, “Andy was the soft-spoken-silver-haired-camera-carrying-turtle-necked man who I always knew would be at Mr. Chow’s when my mother let me accompany her there.” Lennon remembers, “Hosting a congregation of artists with varying degrees of flamboyance, he would snap pictures on his Yashica and whisper mischievously through dimpled cheeks at one of three tables by the balcony bar overlooking the main dining room.
In addition, the songwriter mentions fellow New York artist, Keith Haring saying, “It is there that I met Keith Haring – who, like me, enjoyed drawing all over the tablecloth,” Lennon continued. “It was [also] there that I learned Andy liked collecting people’s signatures – I could barely write mine, so the exercise seemed mysterious.”
Lennon goes on to explain that he was hesitant to write the song in the first place because of David Bowie’s Warhol-themed track on his 1971 album Hunky Dory. Despite hesitation, Lennon records a song he wrote himself titled, “Love and Warhol”. The song contains a sharp, loping beat and lightly strummed guitar. Some of the lyrics are as follows: “He knows that they won’t forget the man/ Who could hold the whole world in a can” reminiscent of Warhol’s famous Campbell Soup Can series.
One can hear the song at, “Letters to Andy Warhol” the traveling exhibition. It is free and open to the public. It currently appears at New York’s Cadillac House until Dec. 24th before relocating to Los Angeles, where it will be on view at 101/EXHIBIT Gallery starting in mid-January. The exhibition then heads to Miami in early February before embarking on a world tour.