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Rare Warhol Film at MOMA

By Christopher Harrity

Andy Warhol’s San Diego Surf concerns an unhappily married couple (Taylor Mead and Viva), new parents who rent their beach house to a group of surfers. Filmed with two 16mm cameras by Warhol and Paul Morrissey in May 1968, this was the first movie Warhol made in California in the five years since Tarzan and Jane Regained, Sort of…. It was also one of the last films in which the artist had direct involvement; in June 1968, Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas, after which his work behind the movie camera came largely to an end. San Diego Surf was only partially edited and never released. In 1995, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. commissioned Morrissey to complete the editing, based on existing notes and the rough cut. San Diego Surf is a significant addition to an epic oeuvre. Restored by The Andy Warhol Foundation and released by The Andy Warhol Museum as part of the museum’s larger mission of promoting and safeguarding Andy Warhol’s legacy.

From Warhol's book, Popism: "La Jolla was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen.We rented a mansion by the sea and a couple of other houses for the people who were going to be in the movie - some of them had flown out with us and the others just met us there... Everybody was so happy being in La Jolla that the New York problems we usually made our movies about went away — the edge came right off everybody... From time to time I'd try to provoke a few fights so I could film them, but everybody was too relaxed even to fight. I guess that's why the whole thing turned out to be more of a momento of a bunch of friends taking a vacation together than a movie."

San Diego Surf also features Warhol staples Joe Dallesandro, Louis Waldon, Ingrid Superstar, Eric Emerson, and Tom Hompertz.

At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, January 23–28, 2013

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