George Christy Talks About Georgette Mosbacher, Andy Warhol, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and more!
We are thrilled and proud that our loyal, dynamic and beautiful friend of 40 years, Georgette Mosbacher, has been approved by the Senate to serve as our ambassador to Poland. Georgette has raised more than $525 million for charities during the past years.
The news broke while we were plotting this column on Andy Warhol. Recalling a party we hosted for Andy during the ’70’s that Georgette attended and whom he met and fell in love with.
Isn’t this a strange coincidence?
When Interview Magazine editor Bob Colacello mentioned that Andy was coming to Los Angeles, he asked would we kindly gather a group of interesting people for him to meet and enjoy.
Insiders all knew that Andy loved parties.
A formal party for Andy didn’t make sense, knowing him, as we did over the years, writing cover articles and a monthly column, called “In Hollywood” for Andy’s celebrity-oriented Interview Magazine. While we were also busy producing three columns a week of “The Great Life” for The Hollywood Reporter.
A pizza party was our choice … Andy loved the idea.
La Barbera’s on Wilshire Boulevard in West Los Angeles was famous for its tantalizing pies. None better in town. Or anywhere.
La Barbera’s it was for 26 guests at one long table, not unlike an Italian wedding dinner, to welcome our great American artist to the Tinsel Town he adored.
Caesar salad, pizzas bubbling from heat, pitchers of Chianti wine, and ice cream sundaes for the sweet tooths.
Andy was happy, reminding again how he was hooked on Hollywood and captivated by the glamour of movie stars.
The next night, Andy hosted a private dinner for several of us at the original Spago on Horn Avenue in West Hollywood, where after the tab arrived, he pulled out a Gucci portfolio from his leather jacket and paid in cash.
It didn’t take more than a minute for us to deduce that he would not pay by credit card. He was protecting his signature.
Months later, we were seated near Gwyneth Paltrow at Giorgio’s Ristoriante in Santa Monica. Gwyneth nodded for us to come over to chat as she was paying the tab. Again, all cash and no signature.
Andy’s fame was building, and today, as Sotheby’s headlines, the art market keeps exploding.
“During the first half of this year, Sotheby’s sold $3.45 billion of art, a 22 percent increase from the year earlier period” reports the Wall Street Journal.
“Sotheby’s rival Christie’s said last month that it sold $4 billion in art during the first half of the year.”
Where is this Big Kahuna moola coming from?
Several years ago, Andy’s painting, “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” sold for $105.4 million. His “Eight Elvises” fetched $100 million. The “Turquoise Marilyn” was bought by New Yorker Stephen Cohen through the powerful Larry Gagosian Gallery for $80 million.
Time was during the early ‘60s when the Ferus Gallery opened by the visionary Irving Blum, who exhibited the Campbell Soup works by Andy that one major collector and MOCA benefactor, Marcia Weisman, considered a joke and would not buy them.
When Andy told Irving he was asking $1,000 for the lot, Irving opted later to buy the entire exhibition of 32 paintings, paying $100 a month over a year.
Today the Campbell Soup collection is valued at $105.4 million.
“An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have,” Andy once assessed.
“Art is what you can get away with.”