' You know the song "New York, New York," and how for year after year people have come to New York to "make it." One of the most important examples of that is Andy Warhol, who spawned a generation of people who think they can make it here in this city. Andy Warhol embodies the spirit of the city that still draws people. Every day a thousand more kids come to New York propelled by his legacy. And even if the decades pass and Warhol becomes a vaguer and vaguer character, there will still be something here that's directly linked to him - this pilgrimage, or calling, coming here from the Midwest, Eastern Europe or South- East Asia, to make it big, to be an artist. I think there should be a destination in New York to mark all those journeys.
There are hundreds of monuments to politicians in the New York City, but I can’t think of any monuments to artists, and other figures who actually represent the lived experience of most of the people who live here. When I was a teenager, I visited Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, where Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are buried. I was struck by the throngs of people that came to visit the tombs of their idols. When Andy Warhol died, his family had his remains sent back to Pittsburgh, where he was born, and so no such marker for him exists in New York. So a public statue of Warhol has a sense of righting a wrong.
Andy, like so many other artists and performers and people who don’t fit in, moved to New York to be himself, fulfill his dreams and make it big. That’s why I moved here, and that’s what my Andy Monument is about. Of course it could be argued that someone could just go to the Modern and look at his Soup Cans, but I think there is something to being truly out in streets of New York, to have something you can visit at 4:20 in the morning with your friends.
I will be unveiling the Andy Monument at the North-West corner of Union Square on Wednesday, March 30 at 6:00PM. I hope you will be able to join me to celebrate one of our own. '