Andy Warhol 20th Anniversary

Posted Thursday, 22 February 2007 by Gudmund in Inspiration
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol's pre-mature death. He is probably best remembered by most of us for his silk-screen prints of Marilyn Monroe and Cambell's soup tins, but it was arguably his 'artist as producer' approach that ensured his profound influence on 20th century art and popular culture.

“If I’d gone ahead and died ten years ago, I’d probably be a cult figure today” Andy Warhol, 1980

After a successful career as a graphic artist, Warhol went on to become a painter and printmaker, photographer, film-maker, mentor, New York socialite and band manager (of sorts) for the Velvet Underground. In the 'Factory' he gathered around him a loose-knit collective of artists, poets, film-makers and wanna-be stars that became both influences and subject matter for his art. In the 60s, Warhol was at the height of his career, producing and orcestrating an incredible amounth of prints and films, as well as a series of multimedia music/film/performance events called the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. The 'Factory' was a powerhouse on the New York arts scene, frequented by Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Truman Capote, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anita Pallenberg, Patti Smith, The Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground and countless others.

Everything changed in 1968 when Valerie Solanis, a Factory regular and the self-proclaimed only member of SCUM (The Society for Cutting Up Men) shot Warhol twice at close range. He survived by the narrowest of margins, but never truly recovered, physically or emotionally. After this event he withdrew himself more from the public gaze, and the Factory was no longer a place where everyone could come and go as they pleased.

Warhol continued producing prints, polaroid photos and audio recordings right up until his unexpected death in 1987, following routine surgery. It was arguably not a very fitting end for an art super-star, but at least he got more than his 15 minutes of fame in his lifetime, and he will not be forgotten.

So, what would be a good way to mark this anniversary?

In additon to the countless films Warhol filmed, directed or produced himself, he appears in these fictionalised accounts of the era:
Basquiat [1996, Warhol played by David Bowie]
I shot Andy Warhol [1996, Warhol played by Jared Harris]
Factory Girl [2006, Warhol played by Guy Pierce]

You could also put on a Velvet Underground album, or Lou Reed and John Cale's musical biography of Andy: Songs for Drella

Some books about Warhol and the Factory scene:

All Tomorrow's Parties: Billy Name's Photographs of Andy Warhol's Factory
by Billy Name, Dave Hickey and Collier Schorr
by Victor Bockris
Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory
by Mary Woronov and Billy Name (photographs)
POPism: The Warhol Sixties
by Andy Warhol

  Thumbnail image: The cover of 'The Velvet Underground and Nico', produced by Andy Warhol. The cover features Andy Warhol's signature rather prominently, but interestingly, not the band or album name. On the original vinyl album cover the banana was a sticker that could be peeled off to reveal a pink banana underneath.
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Andy Warhol 2.0
By on Friday, 19 October 2007 6:03 AM
this wil explain what I am talking about

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