To celebrate the rare occasion of the opening of one of Andy Warhol's TIME CAPSULES over the weekend, i-D interviewed Warhol's last assistant Benjamin Liu about the project and about his time with the artist.
Liu remembers going through Warhol's garbage at Venezuelan artist Victor Hugo's home in Long Island to see if there was anything worth keeping. "To our astonishment there was NO GARBAGE, not even the boxes from the rolls and rolls of film Andy took over the long weekend,"he said. "Not until I started to work for Andy, did I realise what a pack rat he is."
As Warhol's assistant at the Factory, Liu says that one of his responsibilities was to pack and seal all of the 610 capsules, so only he and a few others have seen all of the hidden wonders that the project has to offer. He writes that "Andy’s take on celebrityhood as a business culminated in the series of standard-sized cardboard boxes filled with used AA Duracell batteries, opened and unopened letters addressed to him, candy wrappers after the candy was eaten, gift boxes of chocolates etc."
The Warhol Museum live-tweeted the opening of TIME CAPSULE 528 from 1984 with the hashtag #WarholTC. Here are a few of the gems that they unveiled from 30 years ago:
- a fork
- a semi-wrapped gift and ribbons
- unopened letters (one addressed to Warhol's boyfriend Jed Johnson)
- a gold belt buckle that reads "ANDY" with a dollar sign
- fruitcake box
- hotel ashtray, soap, and shampoo
- an invitation to a party hosted by Wayne Gretzsky
- an invitation to Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall's Christmas party
- a Christian Dior tie, still in its box
- Sweet and Low sugar packets
For more information on the ongoing project to unseal the remaining TIME CAPSULES, head to The Warhol Museum website.