Who is Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, excerpts from “Warhol in His Own Words,” untitled statements (1963-87) selected by Neil Printz and collected in Kynaston McShine, ed., Andy Warhol: A Retrospective (New York and Boston: Museum of Modern Art and Bullfinch Press/Little Brown, 1989), 457-67.

In “Warhol in His Own Words: Untitled Statements”, (1963-87) the pop artist, Andy Warhol’s, statements were excerpts selected by Neil Printz and collected in Andy Warhorl: A Retrospective (1989). In the text, Andy Warhol’s various statements are used to give his view and perspective on three subjects: his paintings, his film and himself. Without hesitation, Neil Printz lays the groundwork for this by opening the article with Warhol’s first statement, “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface: of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.” (340) It  seems that Warhol telling us that there is no deeper meaning behind his work even if it seems boring and consistent. The reason behind this claim is from another statement that was selected, “I like boring things. I like things to be exactly the same over and over again.”(340)We can see this perspective through Andy Warhol’s sculpture, Invisible Sculpture, Area, New York (1985); Andy Warhol stepping on a plinth in a New York nightclub and then him stepping off of the plinth. Even though it is performance art, it certainly relates to his statements  on himself being a “pure artist”(341) and also “a statement of the symbols of the harsh, impersonal products and brash materialistic objects on which America is built today.”(341)

We, as readers can easily understand where Warhol’s statements are leading us to. They are leading us to what is inside Warhol’s mind. Printz does his job well in selecting the right statements so we delve deeper into what made his career have a deeper meaning despite being just simple images. We learn that Warhol treated his art like a business, knowing that “the richest consumers buy essentially the same thing as the poorest” (341) and “making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art”. (342) Relating back to his sculpture, Warhol statements gives us a clue that he knew that time is a fleeting process; therefore, his performance art is just like his view on himself, “I never understood why when you died, you didn’t just vanished, and everything could just keep going the way it was only you just wouldn’t be there.” (346)

-Jwan Boddie


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