Union Jack

     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy

ANDY WARHOL    1928 - 1987

Dollar by Andy Warhol
I found something that the general public loved.
It was easy to produce, it was easy to market, it was easy to rake in the cash.

An American painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author, and public figure known for his membership in wildly diverse social circles that included bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy aristocrats.

The Life and Work of Andy Warhol

He has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films.  He coined the expression "15 minutes of fame."

PETER: A sickly child, at the age of six you were confined to bed with St. Vitus' Dance, and you had a lonely time at school when you finally returned.
WARHOL: The sickness, I now know, occurred so that I could be in a position to go inward, to get out of the affection I had for things outside of me and to be able to start drawing, developing, painting, manufacturing inside of me.
PETER: Did you choose to be homosexual before coming to planet Earth?
WARHOL: I chose to experience ambivalence, before I accepted and told others that I was in fact homosexual.  It was a constant battle of: "Am I doing this to be different?  Am I doing this because I'm actually being accepted by a male partner rather than a female partner?  Or am I doing it because that is what my body and my mind need at this time?"  I put all those patterns together for something I wished to experience in this lifetime.
PETER: In 1968, Valerie Solanas came into your studio and shot you.  You very nearly died.
WARHOL: It was having reality catch up to me.  My entire life was played out on flat surfaces - my pictures, my prints, my movies-anything that I produced.  There was a sense of non-reality to the life I was leading, until that day when a small inanimate object made out of metal put me in a situation, where I could not deny that I was flesh and blood, that I wasn't just these reproductions that I put out as being Andy Warhol.
PETER: You were very committed as a Byzantine Catholic, but you appear to have been very frightened of death.  After you were shot you said, "I always wished I had died, and I still wish that, because I could have gotten the whole thing over with."
WARHOL: My religion was always a love-hate relationship.  It was not something to which I could give myself completely, nor was it something that completely answered the questions I had.  I did have a sense that there was something beyond life, and at that point in time, with my walls crumbling in around me, my perception was that I would be better off back in soul form.
PETER: You were criticized for being merely commercial and superficial.  Or were you, as was said, "the most brilliant mirror of our times"?
WARHOL: I did not provide pictures that brought out the energy of the subjects.  I provided pictures that were snapshots of the fašades presented, and it was then for the subjects to decide if the portraits made them comfortable or uncomfortable.
Marilyn by Andy Warhol

Toni comments: Whoa! - that was really a kind of circus.  I was seeing flashes of his life as it went along, from a very dreary apartment - very cramped and uncomfortable feeling - to flashes of the various paintings that he had done during the different phases of his life.  I also felt a shifting of the energy from the two personas that he very definitely had: the private one that nobody ever saw and the professional one that was garish.

Talking with Twentieth Century Men
The foregoing are excerpts from Talking with Twentieth Century Men.
If you wish to purchase this book please go to the Celestial Voices website.
If you wish to learn more please go to these websites Messages from the Masters and The Masters' Blog.

Return to Talking with Twentieth Century Men

Home Page

Please click below for information on a dvd about his life and five recommended books.