Andy Warhol may be best known for Campbell's soup cans and silk-screened Marilyn Monroe portraits, but his ample body of work still pales in comparison to the cult of personality he engendered. A trailblazer in pop art, Warhol was also an experimental filmmaker, Velvet Underground financier, and man-about-town who cavorted with fashion models, rock stars, Hollywood celebrities, members of the New York City intelligentsia, and all variety of wayward, drug-addled hipsters and drifters. In 1962 he opened the Factory, a warehouse studio that became a hang-out for his boho entourage, most of whom contributed to Warhol's cottage industry of silk-screen prints and underground films. The place was legendary, not for its weird artistic products and bizarre assortment of people (such as Edie Sedgwick, Truman Capote, Lou Reed, Bobby Driscoll, and drag queens), but for its furnishings — i.e., the famous red couch and disco ball coffee table. The Factory building no longer exists, but its interior decor — immortalized in roughly seventy films minted between 1962 and 1968 — remains iconic.
On Friday, Mar. 6, the East Bay Express will transform its Emeryville warehouse (1343 Powell St.) into a replica of Warhol's Factory, complete with a custom-built red couch and retro coffee table (our version, painstakingly handcrafted by Oakland artist and Express staffer Terry Furry, has about 2,000 tiny glittering mirrors). Coinciding with the Warhol Live exhibit at the de Young Museum, this aptly named Factory Party will include two Velvet Underground tribute bands; a nine-room exhibition of art by Amoeba record store employees and local artists Lori Katz and Billy Sprague; live graffiti murals sponsored by Montana Cans; beats by Russell Quan, Ken Kabala, DJ Deathboy, and Inti; and a conceptual exhibit by OFFspace, which imagines what Warhol's new art would look like were the man still alive.
Wait, there's more. We'll deck the warehouse walls with simulacra of several Warhol paintings, including the famous Coca Cola bottle silkscreen, plus portraits of past and current pop culture icons. Some contributing artists will silk-screen during the event, while others will shoot live screen tests. Warhol character impersonators will shamble through the warehouse to create the illusion of authenticity. Bring a can of Cambell's soup for the Alameda County Food Bank, dress in your flyest 1960s attire, and enter to win special goodies. Admission is free, though we do request a $10 donation ($5 for students) (proceeds benefit Pro Arts). 6-11 p.m. EastBayExpress.com/elerts
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