ANDY WARHOL IN KC / by Arthur Cherry



A little over a month from opening night I finally made it to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at Union Station.

It was a Friday night, a few minutes after 7. I walked in and followed the signs that led downstairs and down more stairs. This was new to me because I have never been in this part of Union Station. It felt like I was going into a basement, an area not often visited. At the bottom of the stairs was a gentleman that took my ticket and led me into what felt like a club. The atmosphere was very urban underground with bright colored lights shining on the brick walls. The walls, as I walked around the corner, featured quotes from Andy himself. I had stepped into a private party in New York City.

Since it was a Friday night after 5pm each ticket could be redeemed for a beverage before entering the exibit. The choices were selections of beer, wine or Coke products. I made my selection and enjoyed it at a table under a disco ball while the music was playing.

As I finished my drink I was welcomed by the volunteer that handed me the self guided tour. The self guided tour consisted of a laminated piece of paper that explained in detail what each piece or series was about.

The gallery was similar to the "club" entry but without the music or colored lights. It felt like I was in a personal studio or gallery. An underground vault had been opened and I for a few minutes had time to hang out with Andy. The gallery featured illustrations and prints of Andy's famous Campbell's Soup cans, fruit, portraits of pop stars, flowers and endangered species. I viewed all the works with a great deal of amazement and awe with the help of the volunteer and my self guided tour. It was amazing to see the work of an american icon in person. As I turned the corner, there was no more.

Maybe I was having too much fun but it come to an end quickly. Almost too quickly. I wanted to turn around and go back through again. As I walked out of the gallery into the "club" to exit I was surrounded by the feeling of 1970s NYC artist nightlife and I truly experienced what the Prince of Pop really meant by "15 minutes of fame." The whole radical experience came to life and it was beautiful.

The Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life & Legends is in Kansas City now until January 10th. If you go after 5pm on a Friday you also receive a FREE beverage. Tickets are just $12. Van Gogh/Warhol combo tickets are a steal at just $15.

Experience the life and art of Andy Warhol for yourself and let me know what you think.