R.I.P. Ronnie Cutrone
I was really saddened by the news of the recent passing of my good friend Ronnie Cutrone. Ronnie was a long time assistant of Andy Warhol’s who worked at the factory from the late 60’s throughout the 1970’s. In the beginning of the 80’s Ronnie forged his own identity as a major artist showing at the Tony Shafrazi gallery as well as many other galleries and museums throughout America and Europe. During this period his name was often mentioned alongside such art world luminaries as Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf ,and Jean Michel Basquiat. His work is often described as “post pop” in that it brought together the best aspects of popular culture, graffiti, and music. In many ways he was a survivor of the factory in that he was not swallowed up by Warhol’s persona but rather used what he had learned from working there to create his own identity.
In addition to being a successful artist Ronnie was a longtime staple on the downtown New York club scene. Ronnie LOVED clubs and I would often run into him late at night at some downtown trendy spot. His was someone who had stories about hanging with everyone from Jim Morrison to Debbie Harry.Ronnie was on a first name basis with the people who really made New York night life. It’s important to note that he was not someone who lived in his past achievements but was always looking to be either ahead of the curve or in tune with whatever was happening at that moment. He loved music and loved being in a scene where music, art and people would mix it up. In more recent year Ronnie hated what the club scene at turned into. Bottle service, late night texting, and people with Iphones where not his thing at all.
One of the things i’ll really miss about Ronnie was his ability to identify with young people. I first met him the early 80’s and we became fast friends. As and older artist he was always ready to dish out good advice and direction. He was very supportive of me in this way unlike some of his contemporaries who were too caught up in their own careers to really care. Ronnie was someone who realized the importance of being there for the younger generation.
I’m going to miss you Ronnie. Somehow I know you have gotten behind the velvet ropes of that great night club in the sky . Your name will always be on the guest list.