Have you seen Rob Pruitt‘s “Andy Monument” in Union Square? I stumbled on it in the way that I should have: unprehyped. At first I thought it was a Gilbert & George performer.

What else might this project have been? It looks cheaply molded, and that includes the plinth and font choice; I’m going to take most of this as a deliberate result of the artist’s control over chrome and cement. As much self-promotion as Warhol did, is the point really about remembering “Andy” as Andy? Statues have a way of deadening themselves, in the same way that a museum can become a mausoleum. It’s not about the physical being of Andy Warhol, it’s about ideas. I get way more jazz from looking at the skulls, for example. Some kind of Polaroid machine, something do-it-yourself, might be wilder, more memorable, more relevant.

Finding out that the project was temporary, though,, through 10/2, changed everything. An expiration date, a planned death, gives it life: a mashup of “15 minutes” and public art. It will get hot in the summer; it might get defaced; there might be some kind of weird media subculture that grows up around it. It might start Tweeting.

And once the leaves turn, I can get back to focusing on the static, almost-invisible William Seward statue as I go on my way through Madison Square.


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