Bscene at the Blanton Museum of Art Brings Warhol’s Factory to Austin

“One’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party,” at least according to Warhol. By that standard, what would he consider hundreds of people gathered to celebrate his art?

Story by Elise Barbin

Photos by Maya Coplin and Kassidy Curry

The Blanton Museum hosted their quarterly Bscene celebration on Friday October 28 to commemorate the opening of Warhol: By the Book, the museum’s newest exhibit. The collection, which remains open until January 29, highlights Warhol’s illustrations and photographs that were originally published in books. Other features of the exhibit include examples of Warhol’s most recognizable work, a painting from his Campbell’s Soup Can project and his portrait of Marilyn Monroe, as well as projections of the artist’s screen tests.

The party served as a replication of Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable events of the late ‘60s, where the artist showcased his artwork, as well as work by other Factory members, those within Warhol’s inner circle of friends and artistic colleagues. Local psych-rock band Christian Bland & the Revelators performed a mixture of their own songs and covers of music by The Velvet Underground, staples of Warhol’s Factory scene. To complete the ambience, The Mustachio Light Show provided visual projections that adorned the walls of the museum and provided a backdrop for the band.

While the event invited guests to dress according to theme, the crowd varied in levels of participation with many sporting general ‘60s costumes and others dressed in chic all-black uniforms or even as Warhol himself. The Blanton’s keen eye for details aided the success of the event, especially with the party’s auxiliary features like “make your own screen test” photo booth, the costume contest, and the service of a variety of soup flavors, all of which made sure the audience could connect with the artist in one way or another.