Asthma, Andy Warhol and Constipation.
Welcome to Awesome People the one and only Steve Gin. This post is packed full of everything Steve. I asked him to send me some pictures of things that he liked and were inspired by. And then I asked him to write a few words for me that could go with his pictures. Pictures and words I got!!! His openness, his thoughts, his words have been a total gem to read and ponder.
I've included some of Steve's words here on Andy Warhol as a teaser. Please visit the Awesome People website to see his packed full blog loaded with pictures and thoughts...
"My earliest memory of Pop artist Andy Warhol comes from grainy, black and white photos of the Silver Factory in a 1960’s LIFE magazine. The Factory was crammed with celebrities, artists, rough trade, glamorous women, and what I noticed above all else, a shirtless Gerard Malanga wearing leather pants and brandishing a whip. Even to a five year old’s eyes, there was something exciting, dangerous, sensual and audacious about this storied art studio at 231 – East 47th Street in New York City.
In 2002, I was working at Calgary’s Glenbow Museum, where the museum frequently hired actors to impersonate historical characters associated with their exhibitions. I wasn’t happy with how most actors approached the work; to me it seemed forced and – well – cheesy (“Hello. My name is Edvard Munch, and I’d like to show you through our exhibition today”). I knew I could do better. A Pop exhibition was on its way from the NY MoMA, and I hit on the idea of introducing Warhol through a play where I would portray various people who knew him throughout his life. In the very last scene I would transform into Warhol, and lead the audience through a series of gallery interventions and improvised performances. The audience would be in on the joke, and buy into it more. As it turned out, some walked away waving “Seeya later Andy,” catching themselves later and saying “Oh yeah. Right.”
I haven’t been able to shake Andy since then. Two years later, The Vancouver Art Gallery commissioned me to stage an extended version of my play in their rotunda, and to use Warhol as the subject for a series of performance-based art education workshops for local teachers. In 2008, I was part of a group of performers, installation artists and musicians that staged The Factory Project in Montreal, a two week long re-envisioning of Warhol’s Silver Factory told through an unapologetically queer lens.
While working at The Art Gallery of Calgary, I created Warhol-based education programs for students from Grades 2 to 12, and produced a faux documentary, Andy Warhol’s Soap Opera: The Second Rinse, where “Andy” interviewed local art collectors about their collections – in their bathrooms.
Today, I curate Factory 112, a series of queer-themed interdisciplinary events in Calgary’s East Village, where we stage exhibitions, performances and educational workshops that reflect the ideas and practices of Andy Warhol. I keep threatening to hang up my silver wig, blue contact lenses and pasty makeup, but Andy seems to have become a part of me. Being Andy has landed me (without my knowledge) on a poster for a Warhol exhibition at Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art (apparently they weren’t willing to pay to use a photo of the real Andy – still waiting for my cheque). I swear I’m twice as fearless, five times as gay and ten times as witty when I wear the wig. And I revel in the irony that while I’ve encountered no end of resistance from the theatre community for playing mainstream (translation: traditionally Caucasian) characters, no one has ever questioned my ability to play one of the whitest artists who’s walked the earth." - Steve Gin. March 23, 2016
I hope you enjoyed this interview with another amazing community hero!