Within weeks of opening ARTWEAR in 1977, (28E 74th St.) Andy Warhol popped in with a few staff from INTERVIEW MAGAZINE. He started shopping. He and his pals would buy goodies from my gallery and take them as gifts for friends to STUDIO 54.
Soon after, he had INTERVIEW staff and photographers come take a portrait of me and do a quick interview…. then he bopped along to go to the Whitney around the corner. Before I knew it the magazine came out describing ARTWEAR and me. A full page, black and white image of my face in the shadows blended with the body cast faces… by the dramatic photographer Michael Tighe. Then there was an avalanche of publicity.
Andy continued to visit us at ARTWEAR, after I re-located to the heart of SOHO at the intersection of West Broadway and Spring St. He bought some very special work from me including two double wrap segmented Snake Belts that I had done for DONNA KARAN, one in sterling silver and the other in 18k green gold. (My favorite color gold.)
Often he would invite me to dinner at the ODEON in Tribeca and it was at these dinner parties that he would hand out signed Andy presents under the table wrapped in brown paper; small sized prints, paintings and some larger rolled up silkscreens. Everyone loved going to dinner with Andy. He signed mine TO RLM, FROM AW ….so sweet.
Years after he tragically passed away, the ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION asked me to do a silver jewelry license for them and it was a hoot. All I can say is if Andy were alive to see how this came out, he would be thrilled. I am very proud of how my style migrated with his into POP jewelry. Every piece had some of his famous “Philosophy” engraved.
“Sex is the biggest nothing of all time.”
“I am a deeply superficial person.”
“I like boring things.”
I never had so much fun as I had to create this collection, using iconic AW images like the flower or butterfly, hearts and crucifixes, skulls, bananas, dollar signs, all cut out of heavy silver and forged to give it shape and texture. They were gutsy and fun. No longer for sale but there must be a lot on eBay.