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Andy Mirrorball

I’ll be your New York: it was Warhol’s city, the Loft Kid and his friends were just living in it. With a painter dad and a bohemian-socialite mom, living as A.I.R. in an illegal loft on West Broadway when he was born, in ’64, and with his own aspirations to be a painter or filmmaker, no other possibility existed: Warholism made an ambient influence, a preëxisting condition whose symptoms glinted everywhere, by the time he’d wandered in. The city took the shape of a maze spangled by shifting reflections, Andy Mirrorball hidden somewhere inside like a spider. That magazine, that T-shirt, that air of fatigue and amusement, of crushed innocence, hanging as a wary trace, a fume, over the whole notion of the downtown, over the white walls of the gallery, painted over a thousand times, over the back room of the club, which let you in but didn’t let you all the way in. The incredible authority of rumor: that once upon a time anyone could go there and anything could happen; that he’d been assassinated; that Clockwork Orange had been filmed before Kubrick’s version; that Blowjob existed but you couldn’t see it; that anyone you might have heard of let alone idolized had traced a path to the center of the maze to be cast in that starlight, to be tested, to be tasted, to see for themselves what there wasn’t there to see. (“I don’t like to look in the mirror, there’s nothing there.”) Brando, Dylan, Lou Reed, even teen-age Jonathan Richman wandering up that stairwell. Others had come to be lost there, to echo into phantom refractions, to sign his name as their own, to become famous in a system of “Stars” that shrugged at confirmation anywhere outside the Factory’s walls—a “you can’t fire me I quit” gesture across all extent mediums, from painting to the tabloids to the distant siren of Hollywood celluloid.

Full story at the New Yorker: Andy Mirrorball