|I was in the playground at Union Square with my boy where a long time ago Andy Warhol's old "Factory" was across the street and where recently a statue of him was erected nearby on Broadway. |
I don't think it's coincidence that the rise of Andy Warhol and Pop Art came at a time when industrial arts and woodworking began its decline in schools. Warhol might represent a future of disposable, poorly made objects of the moment. Woodworking is the direct opposite. If something takes craft and materials to make, it's not something you want to get rid of. We all talk about making furniture that our kids and maybe grand-kids will have. I don't think any of us plan to build a room full of stuff only to have some decorator tell us next year that we have to get rid of it because it's not "now." You can only do that with disposable stuff.
What's amusing of course about the whole thing is:
1: I'm not sure if the statue is permanent. It certainly doesn't look that way.
2: Unlike the Factory itself, which has been long gone for years, the Decker building in which it was housed is doing well, and the pre-Pop Art carvings that decorate the exterior still give bored parents in playgrounds something interesting to look at. Good design will outlast the hip and trendy every time.
N.B. (The factory was only in the Decker building from 1968 - 1973, after which it moved a few feet away to the NE corner of Broadway and 17th Street, which is also visible from the playground. It's also an old building but it isn't as interesting as the Decker building.)
N.B. Thanks to the farmers market at Union Square which started in 1976 and grown, Union Square has gone from being a cheap dodgy neighborhood with discount stores to a upscale area jammed with lots of tourists and locals. However, in the 19th century Union Square was a major focus of the city, and the headquarters of Tiffany & Co. before they moved uptown. The original store, which had one of the most prominent interior spaces of its time, has recently been converted to a glass covered condominium.
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