Photo by G.
Today, August 6, 2012 would have been Andy Warhol’s 84th birthday. Though I am familiar with much of his art, I realized I didn’t know much of Andy’s back story. I remedied that situation by picking up a copy of Victor Bockris’ biography of Andy Warhol. Coincidentally, I finished reading it the day before his birthday, so I thought I’d recommend this book to you if you want to know more about the life and times of Andy Warhol. The book is a treasure trove of fascinating stories of a fascinating man who forever changed the art world. Love him or hate him, Andy Warhol was a creative genius and unfortunately like with so many geniuses, that gift comes hand in hand with being a pretty rotten person. Though there are no accounts of him being physically abusive, it was very clear that the star of the show was Andy Warhol and anyone trying to upstage him would be excommunicated.
Andy Warhol was an artistic vampire who surrounded himself with creative people and Warhol was able to suck out their essence and turn that into an multimillion dollar empire. Andy was a master of turning simplicity into notoriety from his infamous Campbell’s Soup Can paintings to the vacant soundbites he gave in interviews which left the world trying to interpret deep meanings into things that should just be taken at face value. The amount of creative projects Warhol tackled in his life is mind-boggling from painting to film to writing books, launching magazines to having his own TV show.
From the book, you get the sense that Andy was a pretty miserable person who was fortunate enough to live an incredibly fabulous life. He jetsetted across the world, hung out with the rich and famous from rock stars to politicians, surrounded himself with beautiful people and had a work ethic that makes you wonder how or if he ever slept. From failed relationships with men to getting shot by a former associate to hoarding objets d’art, the 600 page book talks about it all and was fascinating from start to finish.
I like Andy’s art even more than I did before I started this book; however, for Andy as a person, some of my worst fears came true. Although Warhol was cool to fans, to those closest to him, he was pretty awful.
Andy Warhol – The Biography by Victor Bockris has been available for years and can be found on your favorite book buying sites.