With his Bloomies bag and a Polaroid slung around his neck

Chromed statue of Andy Warhol in New York's Union Square.  Photo by Rex Sorgatz.

Accella is a big fan of iconic American artist Andy Warhol. Uncle Andy’s, the book that Warhol’s nephew, James Warhola, wrote and illustrated about one of his childhood visits to his uncle Andy’s home in New York City (cover pictured below), has been extraordinarily popular with our students and, on several occasions, we’ve used it as a touchstone for discussions of Warhol’s art and some aspects of the business of art-marking.

Cover of James Warhola's book about his childhood visit to his uncle's home in NYC.

Needless to say, then, that we were thrilled when we learned that a chromed statue of Andy Warhol had been erected in New York City’s Union Square. As you can see in the photo at the top of this post (taken by Rex Sorgatz), Warhol is shown holding a Bloomingdale’s shopping bag and with a Polaroid instant camera hanging from his neck. The statue is undoubtedly even more impressive in person than it appears in Sorgatz’s well-executed photo and we’re looking forward to seeing it up close the next time that we’re in NYC.

The inclusion of the Polaroid is significant because, as David Ng wrote in Point and shoot: Warhol and his Polaroid, a 2009 post to the LA Times Culture Monster blog regarding an exhibition that included a hundred of Warhol’s Polaroid photos, […] Warhol reveled in mass-produced art as well as the fabulosity of instant (and instantly disposable) celebrity. The Polaroid camera allowed him to put those beliefs into point-and-shoot practice, and he enthusiastically churned out images by the thousands. The model of Polaroid depicted as part of the statue appears to be the same as that mentioned in Ng’s piece, a Polaroid Big Shot camera purchased in 1970.

As for the Bloomingdale’s bag, Warhol once said that death was like going to Bloomingdale’s. In the context of Hong Kong, might one imagine death as something like a trip to Sogo or Lane Crawford? Something to ponder.