Starting April 26, it will be possible to visit Andy Warhol’s body in Chelsea, New York. "Here Died Warhol" is a sensational experience that takes the visitor around New York City, following in Andy Warhol’s footsteps from his artistic beginnings to the glamorous and iconic places he frequented. The late artist’s body will lie in state at UNIX Gallery, 532 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011 through June 9.
"Here Died Warhol" is an immersive installation by Spanish artist Eugenio Merino featuring a life-size hyperrealistic sculpture of Andy Warhol accompanied by a black granite gravestone. A functioning souvenir shop (including T-shirts, postcards, mugs) and a self-guided tour map of Warhol’s essential haunts (like his first New York residence and The Factory) complete the installation. The intimacy of Merino’s sculpture in the gallery punctuates the cultural tourist’s experience as they contemplate the art and popularity of Warhol’s legacy.
Curated by the Málaga-based collective Los Interventores, "Here Died Warhol" explores the curiosity and motivation of Adjectival Tourism. In this case, it is a paired fascination with Warhol’s explosive célébrité and an innate curiosity about death close-up (like visitors to the Paris Morgue in the late 1800s). Resonating with tourists and gallery visitors alike, the exhibition gives a full understanding of the city and artist that helped shape each other.
The installation is a sharp critique of the mass tourism and the cultural industry of the city-brand, examining the clash between the rise of tourist attractions and the needs of the local population; where real is replaced by a false setting targeted at the visitor. "Here Died Warhol" is the definitive opportunity to take a selfie with the artist and acquire those objects created to capitalize on the essence of the most famous Pop Art visionary; the sale of the artist´s aura.
The hyperrealism of Merino’s sculpture highlights this conflict between the genuine and the fake within the tourist experience. This frustration transforms the city into a commodified space intended primarily for leisure and consumerism.
"Here Died Warhol" follows on the success of "Aquí Murió Picasso" ("Here Died Picasso"), which in 2017 attracted more than 20,000 visitors to the Alliance Française in Málaga. For the duration of the exhibition, it became a must-see tourist experience in the capital of La Costa del Sol.
Born in 1975 in Spain, Eugenio Merino graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid. Merino had his first US museum show at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art (Houston) in October 2015. The artist has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and has participated in a variety of art fairs, including Volta NY, Volta Basel, ARCO (Madrid), Art Brussels, FIAC (Paris), Armory Show, Arte Fiera (Bologna), Art BO (Bogota), MACO (Mexico), Art Wynwood (Miami) and has exhibited in the MOCA Museum of Taipei and the B.P.S.22 in Charleroi (Belgium).