THE REMARKABLE LIFE AND TIMES of Andy Warhol


"I'd prefer to remain a mystery. I never like to give my background and, anyway, I make it all up different every time I'm asked. It's not just that it's part of my image not to tell everything, it's just that I forget what I said the day before, and I have to make it all up over again."

Did you know...

1. Andrew Warhola was born on August 6, 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2. He wore a wig most of the time in public. At a book signing in 1985, a girl snatched off his wig and Warhol later noted in his diary, "I don’t know what held me back from pushing her over the balcony"

3. He was known for having a very big sweet tooth. He would visit pastry shops daily, sometimes buying an entire birthday cake for himself. When more substantial meals were offered, he would refuse and one time gave the explanation, "Oh, I only eat candy".

4. On June 3, 1968, radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas shot Andy and art critic Mario Amaya at Warhol's studio. Before the shooting, Solanas was a separatist feminist who had written the 'S.C.U.M. Manifesto' and she advocated the elimination of men. Amaya received only minor injuries and was released from the hospital later the same day but Andy was seriously wounded by the attack and barely survived. Surgeons had to open his chest and massage his heart to help stimulate its movement again. He suffered serious physical effects for the rest of his life, including being required to wear a surgical corset. Solanas turned herself in the following day and was arrested for the assault. She said that Andy  "had too much control over my life." and gave that as the reason she wanted to shoot him. She was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and sentenced to three years.

5. He avoided the subject of death, except in his 'Disaster' series paintings. He did not attend the funerals of the superstars he knew nor did he attend his mother's funeral when she died in November 1972. After she passed away he continued to give the impression that she was still alive to people who would ask about her. Warhol did not mention his mother's death to any of his close friends and as late as 1976, when friends would ask about his mother, Andy would say, "Oh, she's great. But she doesn't get out of bed much."

To learn more about the artist Andy Warhol and his 15 minutes of fame, I recommend The Andy Warhol Diaries by Pat Hackett and Andy Warhol


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