Thirty years ago today a memorial mass was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Andy Warhol, who had passed on just about one month before the service. I was invited to the memorial and went with my friends Chris Makos and Peter Wise. We sat behind Yoko Ono.
Warhol was a major inspiration in my opening Govinda Gallery, and he had six exhibitions at Govinda. Andy and his circle of artists, photographers, writers, editors, collectors, art dealers and friends had much to do with Govinda Gallery’s success.
I met Andy several years before I opened Govinda in 1975 through my college chums Michael Netter, Bob Colacello and Glenn O’Brien who all worked for Andy.
Bob Colacello was the editor of Interview Magazine and with Bob and Interview photo editor Robert Hayes I began organizing and exhibiting many of the photographers featured in Interview including Chris Makos, Gerard Malanga, Greg Gorman, Michael Halsband, Peter Strongwater, Erica Lennard, Firooz Zahedi, Herb Ritts, David Seidner and many more.
When Andy visited Washington I would drive him around town, usually with Bob Colacello or Chris Makos, to parties, gallery openings, artist studios, collectors’ homes, museums and his hotel. Sometimes he would relax in the back room of Govinda Gallery, which this blog, The Back Room, is named after. Andy was the ‘patron saint’ of Govinda Gallery.
I loved Andy, and was fortunate to exhibit his art at Govinda. This post is a remembrance of one of the great artists of our time and of someone I was grateful to call a friend.
I want to acknowledge some of Andy’s associates and friends who were supportive of the work I did at Govinda Gallery: Bob Colacello, Chris Makos, Vincent Fremont, Paige Powell, Fred Hughes, Sylvia Miles, Robert Hayes, Jane Holzer, Michael Netter, Candy Darling, Glenn O’Brien, Ron Feldman, Peter Wise, Benjamin Liu, Mark Balet, Gael Love, Gerard Malanga, Brigid Berlin, Tony Shafrazi, Jackie Curtis and Eric Emerson.