Christophe von Hohenberg:
Remembering Warhol: 30 Years Ago
Remembering Warhol: Thirty Years Ago exhibits a collection of historic photographs of Pop artist Andy Warhol’s 1987 Memorial service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, captured by photographer Christophe von Hohenberg on assignment for Vanity Fair.
On April 1, 1987, two thousand invited guests arrived on foot, taxi and limousine at Fifth Avenue and 50th Street to walk through a throng of curious onlookers held back by NYPD blue, wooden barriers. Stationed in front of the cathedral, von Hohenberg took over 600 photos of what Grace Glueck of the New York Times called the "most droppable names” in the world of Hollywood, fashion, music, international society and art. He captured a veritable time capsule of the epochal era that Warhol helped shape.
The archival photographs and silver gelatin prints are exhibited with corresponding celebrity remembrances and antidotes that von Hohenberg collected from the attendees. Some, such as designer Diane von Furstenberg, sent back hand-written notes, others wrote on personal stationary. Collectively the letters are a testament to a social and cultural world that is fading into the ether of history.
“My photographs convey warmth and sadness, despite the high-glitz factor of that day,” says von Hohenberg. “Thirty years later, I still see Raquel Welch, defiant in a full-length fur coat, a serious Robert Mapplethorpe hurrying past the crowd and Liza Minnelli on the arm of Halston. The most Warholian of the subjects I photographed was Stephen Sprouse, arriving beside Deborah Harry, taking a drag on a cigarette. My favorite though, is an exterior shot of St. Patrick’s, hearses parked in front, because the Hitchcock-like angle of the shot sums up the whole event for me."