Sunday, 23 November 2008

Lots of first times this weekend. I'll tell you about three of them, in a vain attempt to start catching up with all the first times missed whilst my internet access had decided to go on holiday for a week or so...

First and foremost, for the first time, I found out more (much more) about a modern icon - Andy Warhol. Now until yesterday I knew about as much as the next guy in the street about this man. If on Friday you'd asked me about him, I'd have said "Andy Warhol? You mean the guy who did neon versions of Marilyn and painted tins of soup? Kind of white hair and glasses?' and that would have been it. But now that I've seen the Andy Warhol exhibition at the Hayward Gallery I've realised an important thing about my lack of knowledge. He really would not have minded. I learned lots of things about the said Mr. Warhol for the first time this weekend. He didn't just do lurid pop art. He designed packaging. He designed album covers. He had a TV programme. He lived in and loved New York. Most beautifully, he filmed lots of incredible short films - my favourite was one of his lover (John Giorno, a poet) sleeping. Hours and hours of film of this man sleeping.But perhaps most importantly I learned that he didn't care whether people knew about him or cared. He believed in himself and that was all that mattered. He described himself as wholly superficial. For me this is the most wonderful thing - maybe he was. And that gives us all hope!

I highly recommend the exhibition, by the way. It is massive, laid out beautfully and there is a room full of silver helium balloons to play with.

Also this weekend, I went to a wine growers fair for the first time (drunken behaviour mandatory) and to a great installation at the Barbican which George obsessed over - a light/radio thing which cast giant shadows of yourself on the wall. Spent many a happy hour in there.

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