Velvet Underground Experience

718 Broadway, NYC

The Velvet Underground Experience
Art & Music Exhibition
718 Broadway, NYC
Through Dec 30 2018

The Velvet Underground were so far ahead of their time that it has taken nearly 50 years for us to catch up to them. 

The Velvet Underground Experience is a 12,000 sq ft, 3 story exhibit in NYC. It is fitting that the exhibit is in NYC, the greatest city in the world, because New York gave life to the band. The Velvet Underground could not have existed anywhere but NYC. 

The exhibit takes us on a multimedia journey through New York City history and the cultural revolution. How 2 totally different kids named Lou Reed and John Cale came together and formed one of the most influential bands in the world. Andy Warhol took them under his wing and added elements of androgyny, art, fashion, and visual performances to their music, thus creating the full package. 

Dirty New York City in the 1960’s. The dark side. When the rest of the world was singing about “Holding Your Hand”, and “All You Need is Love”, Lou Reed was writing songs about “Heroin”, drug dealers and transvestites. The Velvet Underground Experience has brought this magical time and place back to life. The pictures, the films, the audio, the video, basically everything you could imagine without the smells.
Curators Christian Fevret and Carole Mirabello have assembled a beautiful collection of rare photos, documentaries, original artwork, memorabilia, music, interviews, album covers, concert flyers and much much more. They went to the source and worked with friends, family and the people who were there to create an incredible exhibit.
 
My favorite part of the exhibit, was when we got to lay down on gym mats and become totally immersed by footage of the Velvet Underground from 1966. We are part of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable. What a time it must have been. Nico, Candy Darling, Edie Sedgwick, Brian Jones and the who’s who of New York underground society. This is as close as I will ever come to being there.
 
The Velvets of course have influenced every other important band that came after them. But they were also so influential in every aspect of life.  For example, as I was walking to the Exhibit, I passed a new store called “Phluid”, the first gender free store. No one bats an eye now, but you can draw a direct line back to The Velvets and Andy Warhol’s factory. They were so ahead of their time, embracing transvestites, homosexuality and transgenders way back in 1965, when that was not an every day occurrence.
 
This exhibit is a must see. It is for anyone, not just VU fans. All lovers of art, fashion, music and history will enjoy this look at an incredible, and historic time.
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