On February 19th at 7:00pm, the public is invited to a new book launch, Salvador Dali & Andy Warhol, by Torsten Otte, at Howl!, the art gallery/performance space at 6 East lst Street (West Villagers can walk east on Bleecker to the Bowery and dogleg across to lst Street). A panel led by the German author, Mr. Otte, will include WestView writer Robert Heide, socialite photographer Peter Beard, William Rothlein, George Mason, and Jade Albert, and will discuss aspects of encounters in New York and Greenwich Village between two leading 20th century artists.
My own encounter with the great Dali occurred on December 17, 1965, at the opening of a Dali retrospective at the Huntington Hartford Gallery of Modern Art in Columbus Circle. Warhol arrived with an entourage that included my friend Robert Heide, who was involved in several projects with Andy at the time, including shooting a movie version of Heide’s sensational Caffe Cino play, The Bed. Also present was Dali’s wife Gala and his mistress Isabel Dufresne—who became Ultra Violet, one of Warhol’s most famous superstars—Gerard Malanga, and Dali’s famous pet ocelot. After the show, a group including myself and the heavily sedated ocelot, went to the old King Cole Bar and then upstairs to Dali’s suite at the St. Regis where the party raged on.
Dali had asked Warhol to show him the Village and, later, Andy obliged by leading in the footsteps of Marcel Duchamp, who in 1965 was still, surprisingly, alive. Duchamp was one of the bohemians who had occupied the top of the Washington Arch way back in 1916 when they declared Greenwich Village an independent sovereignty. They refused to leave without official recognition, which they eventually received from the Mayor of New York.
The tour of places the King of Pop Art took the King of Surrealism included the Caffe Reggio (still there), Kettle of Fish, The Gaslight Cafe, Cafe Figaro, and the San Remo Cafe (a bar), all on MacDougal Street.
For more fascinating tales of the New York and Village adventures of two icons of the modern age, hurry on over to Howl! on February 19th—no reservations needed, just pop in.