Monday, January 31, 2011

Warhol in Colorado: Mark Sink's 15 Minutes of Fame

Warhol in Colorado: Mark Sink's 15 Minutes of Fame

Mark Sink: "Andy Warhol, Mountain Man," Colorado, 1982.
When the exhibit Warhol in Colorado opens for public viewing today at DU's Myhren Gallery, one of the show's major components will include photos taken of Warhol by Colorado photographers in the early '80s, when the pop artist visited Fort Collins amid much hoopla for a major exhibition of his works, assembled by noted collectors Jon and Kimiko Powers, at the Colorado State University campus. Mark Sink was both a bicycle racer and an aspiring photographer when Andy Warhol came to Fort Collins, in town himself for a bike race (during which he crashed near finish line, resulting in a bad case of road rash). When he heard that Andy Warhol was in town, he jumped at the chance to meet the pop-art icon.
"I went on a mission to find Andy. I kept asking people, 'Have you seen Andy?' And they would say, 'Oh, I saw him here, I saw him there.' So I kept looking, opening and closing doors, and then I opened a door, and there was Andy sitting there signing posters by himself. He was super happy to see me, so I sat down with him. I got to tell him how much I loved Interview and how I was an aspiring photographer, and by the next month my name was on the masthead of Interview.
Mark Sink: "Portrait of Andy Warhol" (detail), 1982.

"He loved to have fresh, young, bushy-tailed kids at his side, and he said, 'Come with me. Let's go find the others,' so we walked onto campus. I was so naive, but when I saw the guys he was with, I realized, 'Oh, he's like a giant queen!' But we all hung out on the campus lawn, and we lit up some joints, and I took pictures. And then he said, 'You're welcome to come back to our funny little motel.' So I jumped in my Volkswagen and was racing to the motel, and I got pulled over by the police. But they let me go when I explained what was going on; they were really sweet about it. So I go there, and Andy asks me, 'Can I take pictures of your scrapes?' And I said, 'Of course.'" At which point Sink obediently dropped trou in front of the motel room while Warhol took this now-infamous shot of the fit and tan young bike racer's road rash and skivvies.
Andy Warhol: Mark Sink, September 1981, outside Andy Warhol's motel room, Fort Collins, CO.

Sink also stood in the legendary two-mile line to get Warhol's autograph, but it was worth the wait: "He signed every page of my portrait book. I brought anything I had that had to do with Andy, and he signed every single thing. He even drew me a penis with a money sign on it. Andy had a little bit of a crush on me."
Andy crash2.2.jpg
Mark Sink: "Crash (Don Helping Smiling Andy Up)," Colorado, 1982.
And of his own photographs of Warhol, of which there are many, Sink says: "I never considered these fine art or celebrity art. I consider most of them lucky-to-be-there snapshots. I liked getting him smiling and out of his persona, instead of that empty gaze he did, just to show that he had a great sense of humor. He was actually really fun, especially after a couple vodka tonics. He was very knowledgeable in art history, and he collected Navajo rugs and and turquoise and silver. My mom grew up in Santa Fe, so when he'd go there on shopping trips, he'd say, 'Tell me about this, tell me about that.' The main thing is that he was just a sponge of art and history. He was always asking questions."



Fetes welcome "Warhol in Colorado" show

Fetes welcome "Warhol in Colorado" show

Decor at the Cable Center. "The Happening," the opening of the "Warhol in... (Steve Peterson)

Philae Dominick in front of the Chairman Mao prints that she lent to the exhibit. ( Photos by Steve Peterson, Special to The Denver Post )

Aside from the Campbell's Soup cans and famous faces that defined his iconic art, Andy Warhol is most famous for having said, in 1968, that "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
So of course we're thinking that it would have been pretty cool if the opening party for "Warhol in Colorado" had lasted only 15 minutes.
Maybe not.
As it was, the two hours set aside for Thursday's VIP preview was barely long enough for 300 fans of the Master of Pop Art to absorb and enjoy 100 original works — and assorted memorabilia — that will be at the University of Denver's Victoria H. Myhren Gallery through March 13.
It was important to keep track of the time, though, because the evening had a Part II: A 1960s, New York club scene-influenced Warhol Happening at the neighboring Cable Center.
There, guests could enjoy deejay music and a Gourmet Fine Catering buffet that was a throwback to the days when pigs in a blanket were a cocktail-hour staple and a stiff martini or scotch on the rocks was a beverage of choice.
So how did a Warhol exhibit end up at DU and why was a venue as high- tech as the Cable Center chosen for the party? "Although thinly documented until now, Warhol visited Colorado approximately a half-dozen times in the late 1970s and early '80s," explains gallery director Dan Jacobs, who curated the exhibit with Rupert Jenkins, president of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. "Our goal is to recapture the significance of his impact on the regional art scene by reaching out to numerous organizations, individuals and philanthropists who have connections (of varying degrees) to him."
Denver resident Philae Dominick, for example, lent her set of 10 original, hand-finished silkscreen prints of Chairman Mao. Valere Harris Shane, also of Denver, worked for Interview, the magazine Warhol co-founded, and provided contact sheets and black-and- white prints that

Valere Shane and daughter, Bayley, stand beside images she took of Warhol when she worked for Interview magazine.
she shot of him with supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, gossip columnist Liz Smith and others. Photographers John Bonath and Mark Sink chronicled Warhol's visits to Aspen, and many of those images are included in the exhibit, as is a poster that gallery namesake Victoria Myhren had Warhol autograph when she shared an elevator ride with him at the Denver Art Museum.
Warhol, who died after gallbladder surgery in 1987, also experimented with computer imaging and cable-television programming, which inspired Myhren and her opening night co-chairs Lauren Cannon Davis and Alexis Hart to keep the Cable Center's multiscreen video tower filled with snippets from the artist's jet-setting life.

Lauren Cannon Davis, left, and Alexis Hart, co-chairs of the Warhol opening party.
Myrhen and her husband, Trygve, are principal sponsors of "Warhol in Colorado," along with Trish and Ralph Nagel, J.P. Morgan, the Cable Center and the University of Denver, whose chancellor, Robert Coombe, was at the opening with his wife, Julanna Gilbert.Christopher Hill, who became dean of DU's Josef Korbel School of International Studies after serving as U.S. ambasssador to Iraq, was there with his wife, Julie, as were Denver Art Museum president Cathey Finlon and her husband, Dick; Vance Kirkland Museum founder Hugh Grant and his wife, Merle Chambers; Tom Whitten and his wife, Michelle, with her parents, John and Anna Sie; Jane Hamilton; Bob and

The DU gallery is named after Vicki Myhren, with her husband, Trygve Myhren; and Lisza Gulyas, an event sponsor. (Steve Peterson)
Judi Newman; Michele Mosko Fine Art owner Michele Mosko; Clara Villarosa; Dr. Kelly McAleese; Gail Berliner; Linda Bowen Scott; Thom Wise; Stevie and Dr. Art Strasburger; Will Joseph; Pam Hill and Dr. John Grossman; George Ann and Buzz Victor; Dianne Eddolls and Glenn Jones; Janis Hampton; Barry and Arlene Hirschfeld; Sue McFarlane; Roselyn Saunders and Dan Sharp; Layne and Craig Fleishman; and Lisza Gulyas, whose VuConcepts was one of the evening's sponsors. The Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, 2121 E. Asbury Ave., is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

More online

Andy Warhol in Colorado

"Andy Warhol in Colorado" exhibit at DU's Myhren Gallery an ambitious offering

Mass-media visionary's art feels brand new at DU

In this 1981 photo by John Bonath, a tired-looking Andy Warhol stretches out on his hotel bed after spending hours signing autographs during an appearance at Colorado State University. (Collection of the artist )

In a time when pop culture reigns supreme, Andy Warhol still counts among its royalty.
The art world's answer to Marshall McLuhan, he grasped the converging power of mass media and mass marketing in the 1960s and '70s and cannily prefigured today's instant communication and social networking.
Drawing inspiration from advertising, celebrity culture and anything underground or outre, Warhol made low art the new high art and set the stage for much of what was to come in the following decades.
That the famed pop artist's work remains as contemporary and relevant as ever, nearly a quarter-century after his death, goes far in explaining the local buzz around a newly opened exhibition at the University of Denver's Myhren
Warhol's manipulated, pop-influenced style can be seen in "Mao 3," part of a 1972 suite of screen-prints depicting Mao Tse-tung. ( Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ Artists Rights Society, New York )
Gallery — "Warhol in Colorado."
Although hardly a full-fledged retrospective and lacking much in the way of major works by the artist, it is nonetheless an ambitious offering, complete with an accompanying 68-page, magazine-style catalog.
The show, co-curated by Myhren director Dan Jacobs and Rupert Jenkins, contains more than 100 objects — photographs, original prints, graphics and assorted other works by Warhol, as well as images and memorabilia related to him.
Its springboard was a 2008 gift of 158 Warhol photographs — Polaroids and silver prints — from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in a bid to boost the display and study of this area of his artistry.
Beginning in 2007, the foundation distributed more than 28,000 of the artist's photos (still just a fraction of the estimated 100,000-150,000 images that exist) to 183 university galleries and museums across the United States, including three in Colorado.
The undertaking was a brilliant win-win for everyone. It kept these works from languishing unseen in storage, and it gave institutions, which could otherwise afford to acquire little if anything by this artist, a substantive body of his work.
Among the DU images are Polaroid snapshots, which Warhol used as the basis for his portraits, and images that served as a kind of photographic diary of his expansive, celebrity-driven social milieu.
The Myhren Gallery could have simply exhibited a portion of the donation, and that probably would have been interesting enough. But to their credit, Jacobs and Jenkins greatly expanded the show's scope, borrowing supplementary objects from nearly 20 private and public collections.
Several of these loans, such as "Golden Mushroom," a 1969 silk-screen from the Campbell's Soup II series, and the "Campbell's Souper Dress" (1967-68), both quintessential examples of Warhol's famous appropriations of the iconic soup can, provide a telling introduction to his work.
Also highly representative is a 1972 set of eight silk-screened portraits of Mao Tse-tung, (another of Warhol's favorite subjects), created in the artist's trademark manipulated, pop-influenced style with eye- catching, saturated colors.
A fascinating subset in the show is a group of more than a dozen of Warhol's less widely known album covers, including a contact- sheet-like look for "This Is John Wallowitch" (1964) and the Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers (1971), with an actual zipper built into the design.
In a catalog essay on the covers, Darrin Alfred, AIGA associate curator of graphic design, wrote that these undertakings were the artist's "most constant vehicle of production" from 1949 until his death in 1987.
As suggested by the title, part of the exhibition is devoted to documenting Warhol's trips to Colorado, including a visit to Fort Collins in 1981 for an an exhibition of his work at Colorado State University.
In images such as "Warhol Signing at CSU Fort Collins," depicting eager autograph-seekers, photographer John Bonath, then on the school's faculty, captured the sensation that the artist's appearance obviously sparked.
There are several memorable portraits taken during his time in the state, including the whimsically titled "Andy Warhol, Mountain Man, Colorado" (1982), by Denver photographer Mark Sink, who met the artist at CSU and became part of his circle in New York City.
Also notable is "Portrait of Andy Warhol at the Denver Art Museum" (1977) by Lloyd Rule, then the museum's staff photographer. The unusual four-way image shows the artist seated in the corner of a Larry Bell glass sculpture, contemplating his reflections.
Warhol was an artistic bellwether of his time, and his pop-tinged vision still sharply resonates today.
Kyle MacMillan: 303-954-1675 or


Art. Myhren Gallery, University of Denver, Shwayder Art Building, 2121 E. Asbury Ave. Photographs, original prints and other works by Andy Warhol are on view along with photographs of Warhol and memorabilia related to him and his visits to Colorado. In all more than 100 objects are included from DU's holdings and nearly 20 other public and private collections. Noon to 6 p.m. daily. Free. 303- 871-3716 or

"WARHOL + 1."

Film series. Denver FilmCenter/Colfax, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. The Denver Film Society is presenting a series of four films exploring key figures in Andy Warhol's life: artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, socialite Edie Sedgwick, filmmaker Danny Williams and actress Candy Darling. 7 p.m. Tuesdays in Febuary. 303-595-3456 or

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dale Chisman

REDLINE  is opening the retrospective of one of my most cherished friends Dale Chisman. He inspired countless including co-founding MCA Denver.. He is one of the most amazing honest and pure abstract painters Colorado has ever produced. His passing has been a giant hole our art community and my life. I hope you come and celebrate the life of this great artist.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Kinsey Institute Show

As We See Them:
Exotic and Erotic Images from
Contemporary Alternative Process Photographers

New Exhibition in The Kinsey Institute Gallery
January 21 through April 1, 2011
Morrison Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington

As We See Them presents the work of eleven international photographic artists who are using 19th century Alternative Processes to create contemporary photographs which image sexuality and the human figure. Featured works include cyanotypes by Patrick Alt and Charles West, platinum-palladium prints by Herbert Ascherman Jr. and Jeannette Palsa, gum bichromate prints by Laurent Bena├»m, photogravures by Constantine Gedal, tintypes by Cynthia Greig, ambrotypes by Ed Ross, daguerreotypes by Charlie Schreiner, and aluminum-types by Mark Sink and Kristen Hatgi.

Opening reception:  Friday, January 21, 5:00 - 7:00 pm, The Kinsey Institute Gallery, Morrison Hall (second floor). 
This event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be provided.
Mark and Meghan summer 2010
Marcy and Apple blossoms spring 2010

Leah Summer 2010 - Kinsey Collection -

Lauren and chastity belt summer 2010