Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. The release of Deborah Davis’s, The Trip – the behind the scenes look at Warhol’s cross-country road trip that led to his stardom, we have put together some of the lesser-known Warhol facts for your reading pleasure.
Fact 1. Andy’s real name was actually Andrew Warhola, but he dropped the “a” at the end of his name in the 1950s to make his name seem “less ethnic.”
Fact 2. Andy’s mom Julia lived with him in New York from 1952-1971 (so, from the time Andy was 24 until he was 43…). She often contributed to his artwork from painting to signing his signature.
Fact 3. Andy’s nickname and drag-queen alter-ego was “Drella,” a combination of “Dracula” and “Cinderella.” Upon his death, the Velvet-Underground dedicated an album in his honor, “Songs for Drella.”
Fact 4. Andy Warhol is considered the first artist to publicly exhibit video as an art form. His 1963 silent film, Kiss, is a 54 minute long movie that was shot in two-minute non-interrupted clips of couples awkwardly making out without any music, color or background commentary.
Fact 5. In 1959, Andy teamed up with socialite Suzie Frankfurt to publish the “Wild Raspberries,” a concept cookbook of sorts. It featured “recipes” like the “Piglet a la Trader Vic’s” – which instructs the “chef” to send a chauffeur to the Plaza Hotel’s famous restaurant and order a suckling pig to go. It was hand-lettered, spelling mistakes and all, by Andy’s mother.
Fact 6. In 1966, Andy took an ad out in the Village Voice, that read: “I’ll endorse with my name any of the following; clothing AC-DC, cigarettes small, tapes, sound equipment, ROCK N’ ROLL RECORDS, anything, film, and film equipment, Food, Helium, Whips, MONEY!! love and kisses ANDY WARHOL, EL 5-9941.”
Fact 7. Andy ate a whole Burger King hamburger on video for Danish filmmaker Jorgen Leth. By videotaping an act so simple that no one values, Andy is saying, why does anyone value me? It’s the most self-loathing, despairing video I have probably ever seen. And I hope you understand it like I do, because it truly is great
Fact 8. Andy was a serious pack rat. He would keep a box near his desk and would fill it with literally everything that he encountered. Upon his death, 641 boxes of stuff, aka “Warhol’s Time Capsules”, were discovered (they had their own separate storage space) and are now part of the Warhol Museum’s permanent collection.
Fact 9. Andy was really really inspired by feet. He created numerous works featuring the appendage. In fact, a mummified Ancient Egyptian foot was even found in one of his “Time Capsules.”
Fact 10. Warhol was shot by American radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas and was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital, only to be revived after five hours of surgery.
Fact 11. The IRS audited Warhol every year from 1972 until his death in 1987.
One fine closing quote from Mr. Warhol said about human life: “Since people are going to be living longer and getting older, they’ll just have to learn how to be babies longer.”
We’ll get right on that, Andy.
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