Warhol feted in Downtown Los Angeles

HOLLYWOOD — Andy Warhol cross-pollinated fine art with pop culture. It was fitting, then, that Hollywood met Downtown last week at the opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s landmark Warhol retrospective.

Making spectacular use of a mundane setting, MOCA blocked off the dead-end, tunnel-like street that runs beneath Grand Avenue and turned it into an extensively decorated banquet hall — parking signs and all.

Walking the black-carpeted street/dining room were a number of guests who had known Warhol. All agreed he didn’t say much. Steve Tisch said the artist was “strikingly reclusive.” Jacqueline Bisset remembered him as “very shy, very quiet, taking the odd Polaroid.”

Even MOCA honoree Dennis Hopper, who “spent a lot of time with Andy,” said what he most remembered Warhol saying was: ” ‘Oh.’ He said ‘Oh’ a lot.”

The crowd favored Downtown over showbiz (one Westsider said: “I didn’t know there were this many people in Los Angeles with money outside the entertainment industry”). Still, among the 1,200-strong throng were Steve Martin, Scott Sassa, Paul Reubens, Max Perlich, Brett Ratner, Stephen Dorff, Marvin Davis, Charlize Theron, Diane Keaton, Anjelica Huston, James Coburn, Marisa Tomei, Caroline Graham, Nicole Clements, Jack Gilardi and MOCA board chair Bob Tuttle.

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