Friday, May 2, 2014

The Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Salvador Dali museum

Yesterday, Linda, Duane, and I decided that we needed to get on the stick and get over to St. Petersburg to visit the Andy Warhol exhibit before it leaves the Salvador Dali museum.  It was originally supposed to end on April 27th but we got an extension when the museum announced that it would continue through June 1st.  Boo-ya!

I had been to the 'old' Dali museum which was nice but smaller but not to the new and larger one.  Linda had only been to the new one and Duane hadn't been to either so we were raring to go.  Plus, all three of us like Andy Warhol.  The new Dali sits on the bay and is gorgeous.  I took a few pics of the outside and the areas I could look down on from the second floor.  There is no picture-taking allowed in the actual exhibit halls which is understandable.

The Salvador Dali museum -- view from the parking lot.

The helical staircase -- taken from the second floor.
View of the bay from the second floor.
Look up!

We went through the Dali exhibit first then started our Warhol tour with some selfies with Andy.

Linda with Andy.
Duane with Andy.
Me with Andy.

Then the fun really started.  First of all, some of Andy's films were being projected onto walls along with pieces of his art and photos from his childhood that were on display.  My favorite was an almost all-white with off-white collage of the Mona Lisa.  Second fave had to be an iconic Debbie Harry piece from back-in-the-day.  Of course, since Warhol died in 1987, just about everything was from that era, anyway.  Some nice pencil sketches of Mick Jagger, Princess Diana, and Sid Vicious.  Various pieces from the Jackie Kennedy series -- all in blue tones.  I was glad to see that a few of the 'piss' paintings were included, too.  I remember reading that Andy and one of his assistants used to try out different vitamins and supplements in order to change the color of their urine while working on these paintings.

Now the piece de resistance!  A camera was set up so that visitors could have their own 'screen test' made just as Andy did with so many of his subjects -- living and otherwise.  (Remember the long film of the Empire State building?)  You could choose a white or black background -- all three of us went with white -- and adjust the lighting to your taste.  The filming ran for three minutes but the finished projects run slightly longer.  Part of the process involves slo-mo'ing the filming at different points.  I went first and tried to just stare at the camera the whole time.  Let me assure you, three minutes is a LONG time when you're doing that.  Linda went next and then Duane.  Both of them looked over at the other two of us while being filmed and can be seen laughing a few times.  I should have done that but I was afraid if I looked at the two of them, I'd laugh and not be able to stop.  It's interesting the way that black and white throw shadows on the face.

So, without further ado, here we are in our not quite 15 minutes of fame.

By the way, I was told by a member of the staff of the Dali museum that Dali got mad and walked off during his screen test.  He lasted about 26 seconds.  How 'Dali' like!


  1. Such a timely post! I'm in Week 2 of the Coursera course on Warhol offered by the University of Edinburgh. Our first assignment was to do a Warhol-like piece, and I chose to appropriate and repeat a double-exposure Philip Seymour Hoffman image and edit it into a duotone of blue and black...kind of a combination of Warhol's fascination with celebrity and tragedy, and reminiscent of his photographic self-portraits employing multiple exposures. I love the Screen Tests. Yours was fantastic!!! I can imagine how long 3 minutes seems in that situation. One of my favorite Screen Tests was Bob Dylan's. He has always seemed like such a private person, and he looked very uncomfortable staring at the camera.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the post and that it was so timely for you, Dana! I hate being photographed but this opportunity was too good to pass up. :) I hope you post about your course and show us your Hoffman image!

  3. We all had a great time. I never like having my picture taken but somehow it seemed more fun than not to sit in front of the camera. An interesting experience.

  4. We really did have a fun time, Linda! Hey, now we're part of an art experiment. :)