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Uncle Andy's


A " faabbbulous visit" with Andy Warhol in New York


Andy Warhol’s nephew Jamie Warhola has created a children’s book that art-loving adults will steal from their kids.


Warhola, 47 and a resident of Tivoli, New York, where he lives with his family, has worked as an illustrator for more than 20 years, but this is the first time he has both illustrated and written the story.


Recently released by GP Putnam’s Sons, the book is called Uncle Andy’s and it works on many levels. While five-year-olds will love it for its bright pictures and simple sentences, art scholars will enjoy it for intimate details about Andy Warhol’s life behind the closed doors of his New York brownstone. In the end, Warhola clearly conveys a message that will be understood by both kindergarteners and art aficionados: Everything is art in some way or another.


This is an idea that Jamie Warhola grasped early. He learned it first not from his famous Uncle Andy, but from his father, Paul, the oldest of the three Warhola brothers. Paul owned a junkyard outside of Pittsburgh and this is where Warhola begins his story, set in August 1962 when Jamie was seven years old.


The opening pages show the junkyard to the reader, making it seem like a magic kingdom filled with art materials. Paul is pragmatic about the detritus, mining it for aluminum, copper, brass, and steel. But he also likes to assemble his finds into fabulous sculptures. While father and son have fun with these acts of creation, Mom is always yelling, “For Pete’s sake, Paul, quit junking up the house!”


One day Paul decides to pack Mom and their six kids into the beat-up family station wagon and head to New York City to visit Andy and Bubba – otherwise known as Julia Warhola – the family matriarch who lived in Manhattan with her youngest son for nearly 20 years.


It’s quite thrilling to turn the page from the Pennsylvania junkyard portion of the story to the double-spread of midtown Manhattan, circa 1962. Working in pastels in a pleasantly realistic style full of color and motion, Warhola captures the feeling of hectic New York.  In addition, he adds telling little details about the world that influenced Andy Warhol at the time: the store I Miller with its beautiful shoes, a billboard for Coca-Cola, an advertisement for Campbell’s soup plastered on the side of a tall building.


Soon the family shows up – unannounced – at Andy Warhol’s “huge black door.”


The author tells us that while Uncle Andy “was very, very surprised,” “Bubba drowned us with wet kisses as she always did and fixed us a dinner of salamis, breads, and cheeses.” It’s a sentence that speaks volumes about Julia Warhola’s sweet nature.


In a phone interview, the author/illustrator said that these unplanned visits took place every few months for years. “Andy always took it in stride. He never showed any negativity,” Warhola says. “He was playful and engaging. It was a side of him many people never knew about.” The rest of the book details the family’s stay in the fabulous house and the discovery that, just like Dad, Uncle Andy collected junk and called it art.


Warhola’s painted renderings of the home Andy Warhol shared with his mother are fascinating and revealing. We’re shown a cutaway view of the Upper East Side brownstone’s five floors, from cellar to attic, with Bubba’s rooms on the first floor and the artist’s studio above it. In vivid detail we see Andy Warhol’s 25 cats – all named Sam – as well as his cookie jars, antiques, towers of painted soup boxes, and canvases the young Warhola boys helped their uncle to stretch.


We’re also told about the time, “Maddie surprised Uncle Andy by going into his room a little too early. He let out a shriek because he didn’t have his wig on yet!” These are the little insider details that art fans will love. Kids, on the other hand, will just be charmed by the picture of the whole Warhola klan wearing funny white wigs.


Charm is more than abundant in Uncle Andy’s, Warhola’s first effort as both illustrator and author. A 1977 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Warhola’s first illustration, a representation of the fourth river flowing beneath Pittsburgh’s three rivers, appeared in CARNEGIE magazine in the mid-70s.


Jamie Warhola says that Andy Warhol always made sure his nephew had paints, brushes, and sketch pads. That investment has been returned in a book that pays tribute not just to a great artist…but to a great uncle.



Hersch by Hersch

Tuesday, April 29, 7:30 pm

The Andy Warhol Museum theater

"The most talked-about young composer in America"

--  The New Yorker


The Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project concludes its successful season at The Andy Warhol Museum with the much-anticipated program, “Hersch by Hersch.” The highlight of the evening will feature gifted young composer Michael Hersch performing his own solo piano works.


Hersch’s list of credits would be impressive for a musician twice his age; at 30 years old, his output and accolades are nearly astonishing. The New Yorker called Hersch “the most talked-about young composer in America.” The Washington Post said he “combines a mixture of urgency and facility that is dazzling.” Other descriptions of Hersch’s music include: “shattering intensity,” "devastating emotional impact,” and “extraordinarily communicative.” Symphony Magazine wrote of him in 1999: “It’s jaw-droppingly apparent what all the hubbub is about.”


Hersch has received numerous prestigious commissions and has had his compositions performed at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, the Tanglewood Music Center and the RomaEuropa Festival, to name just a few venues. Mariss Jansons and the Pittsburgh Symphony performed his Ashes of Memory at New York’s Carnegie Hall in March 2001, and Hersch will appear with the Pittsburgh Symphony at Heinz Hall in April.  Also promised on the Hersch by Hersch bill are a vigorous Oboe Quintet by Mozart and tuneful Selections from Eight Pieces, Opus 83, by Bruch..  


The Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project is sponsored by The Heinz Endowments.

For more information, call 412.237.8300.


Off the Wall  in March and April


The Off the Wall series of cutting-edge performance art is a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum and New York's P.S. 122, a national pioneer in presenting performance art.


Jennifer Monson: Keeper

Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m.


Dancer and choreographer Jennifer Monson explores "excavation" in her ongoing  solo project, Keeper.  Excavation disrupts, uncovers, and exposes physical, historical and emotional layers, and  Monson has developed an array of movement characters, culled from years of solo practice, that delve into the singularity of self, etching an energetic signature of movement. The performance will consider the interruption of oneself to reveal the unexpected - to dig one’s own grave, exploring the disruption and transformation of time and space through movement.


Monson original approach to experimental dance forms in New York City since 1983 involves a collaboration with dancers, composers and artists. Her work has been presented at many international venues, and been honored often in the field of dance.


Miranda July

Saturday, April 12, 8 p.m.


Miranda July is comfortable both in front of a crowd and behind the scenes of the most contemporary underground art.   She'll take her place in the spotlight at The Andy Warhol Museum when she presents her work-in-progress, How I Learned to Draw, as the season-closer of the museum’s Off the Wall series.  


Her video Nest of Tens was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and her work has been screened at museums and festivals internationally. How I Learned to Draw is described as a work-in-progress in six parts. July says she will use the audience, sound, video, prayer, levitation, and herself to build each part. Her goal, she says, is proving the existence of a better parallel world that lives in the heart of the viewer.


Single tickets are $15; $10 for students. Seating is open and not assigned. A meet-the-artist reception will follow each performance. All tickets are sold through The Andy Warhol Museum at 412.237.8300.  For information call  412.237.8300.









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