Turning a corner yesterday at the Volta New York press preview at 82 Mercer Street, serendipity arrived. There sat Ultra Violet (Isabelle Collin Dufresne) in a special installation of her self portrait mirrors and other work curated by New York’s Culture Shock.
I met Ultra Violet in 1995 when she approached me at a show I was in at Ricco/Maresca Gallery called “CODE” an international new media exhibition sponsored by Microsoft, Apple and Softimage. At the time, my friend and business partner Jackie Lightfield and I had an interactive agency called blowtorch with a sub brand called Art Spark, under which we published interactive art CD ROMs, including Los Angeles artist Bill Barminski’s “Consumer Product.” Jackie had also programmed the fake AI engine in the interactive portion of my sculpture in the CODE show.
Ultra Violet was interested in having us publish her book “Famous for Fifteen Minutes,” as an interactive CD ROM.
Set in the dervish years of the Sixties and Seventies, Famous For Fifteen Minutes is a confession memoir of Ultra Violet. The story recounts of Warhol, a shy, bald, myopic, gay albino from an ethnic Pittsburgh suburb and the “Girl in Andy’s Soup,” Isabelle Collin Dufresne, a.k.a. Ultra Violet, a convent educated heiress from France. Salvador Dali, her companion for five years, introduced her to Andy in 1963. The book won the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt Award, and has been published in 14 languages.
Ultra Violet spent time with us at our offices in New Haven, CT and we visited her at her New York penthouse, in a building that towered over the Guggenheim Museum, going over the materials and learning about the details of Ultra Violet’s amazing life, including her adventures when she worked for and studied with surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.
Ultra Violet was very interested in the MegaGlam Space Age Yeti jacket and “I do what I want” custom dress I was wearing, and asked if I could make something for her in magenta.
I hadn’t seen Ultra Violet since the late 90s, and am looking forward to visiting her Chelsea studio this weekend.The above description of Famous for Fifteen Minutes was referenced from the Amazon book listing here.
Photo by Debra Anderson, Culture Shock, New York.