Forest Hall walls were newly white and hung with Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg’s exhibit, “Andy in Nature,” on September 23. Huge photographs of Andy Warhol, as he appeared in nature, adorned the walls, expertly lighted. The Penn Strings trio filled the room with classical music as people walked about, wine from the bar in hand, amid votive candles on white tablecloths.
The installation was done by Pablo Garcia, who worked on “to -scale” models sent to him by Makos and Solberg. Garcia lives in Valencia, Spain, but does all of their installations. He came to Milford to set up the installation in Forest Hall, which took him the better part of a week. He built the walls, hung the images, attached the texts, all with the precision of an engineer. Sarah Effertz, owner of Blu Elefante Events, made sure every detail was perfect.
Makos was a friend of Warhol, and his photographs captured Warhol away from “the Factory,” his Manhattan studio. Some of these images were never seen before and they portrayed a pensive side of Warhol. Makos said, “They are important photographs to me because they are about joy and happiness. They were taken during a time that was defined by the AIDS epidemic, but what’s important to remember is that while that was going on, there were levels of happiness that we worked really hard to create.” During this period, Warhol immersed himself in nature, Makos said.
Complimenting Makos’ photographs and expanding the nature theme were Paul Solberg’s flower photographs, with their subtle colors. One visitor excitedly pointed out, “Look, the leaves of the flowers–they’re dancing. You can see them–they’re moving.”
Solberg said, “Myself and Christopher Makos are so happy to have this coming together. It’s more than an art show and an art exhibit. Because human beings are stronger together, there is more of a common link and nature will bring us together.”
Indeed, people did really come together. Left-leaning liberals a spoke with right-leaning conservatives. About 100 local Pike County people were the first to arrive, and about two hours later, there were another hundred New Yorkers who arrived in busses which had been unexpectedly detained on I-84.
Here was another eclectic group of people–authors, actors, artists, collectors, and business owners all gathered together. There was an interesting pastiche of dress displayed, ranging from the more informal and relaxed country style to some of the more formal style of many of the New Yorkers. Clothes ranged from the flannel plaid shirt and jeans look, to strapless dresses and some longer dresses and also the more equalizing pairs of jeans and a sweater. And then there was Pike County’s own Dr. Doug Manion in his Lederhosen.
Expressions of superlatives were everywhere. Pat Cantor summed it up by saying, “This was the most extraordinary event in Milford in the last 100 years. Everything was perfect. This is what Milford was meant to be–a beautiful, lively, historic town very close to New York, a peaceful haven filled with magnificent natural and cultural beauty plus great things to do. Bill Rosado has breathed life back into this town.”
“It was an absolutely stunning evening,” said Milford author Richard Morais. “Our Pennsylvania village is in political upheaval. All that left-right rage we’ve been living through these past few years instantly melted away in the face of this magical exhibit–Paul Solberg’s dancing stamens opposite Chris Makos’ moody country takes of Andy Warhol; the classical string trio in the corner; the vintage wall video of the jolly ducks. I was reminded of a forgotten truth– Great Art soothes the soul.”
The evening ended with Makos and Solberg thanking everyone for coming, especially those who came from such a great distance to support their exhibition and opening night. They also announced that they would be doing another exhibition next year with a new theme because of the success of this one .
Clothes ranged from the flannel plaid shirt and jeans look, to strapless dresses and some longer dresses and also the more equalizing pairs of jeans and a sweater. And then there was Pike County’s own Dr. Doug Manion in his Lederhosen.