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Andy Warhol, Let's Entertain: Life's Guilty Pleasures


Andy Warhol



Institution Walker Art Center
A multimedia artist avant la lettre, Andy Warhol was painter, printer, filmmaker, magazine founder, and all-around media star from the early 1960s until his death in 1987. The seminal progenitor of American Pop Art and purveyor of the glamorous celebrity lifestyle uttered the now-clichéd statement, "In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." With this simple utterance, Warhol captured the volatile mix of desire, artifice, glamour, fickleness, and information overload that would define our celebrity-obsessed culture. His celebrated silkscreen paintings were often serialized portraits of rich, famous, and sometimes tragic figures of music, screen, and popular culture--such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, and Jackie Kennedy. In his Factory of the late 1960s and early 1970s, he created "superstars" with that "It" quality that separated them from the ordinary. He made films that starred his creations, including Poor Little Rich Girl with Edie Sedgwick and Sleep with John Giorno. Taking part in all areas of the creative world, mainstream and underground, he was involved in the 1960s underground music scene with his musical protégés the Velvet Underground and was also instrumental in the success of Studio 54, the disco-era New York club that became the archetypal high-profile celebrity hangout. While helping to highlight, define, and foster America's obsession with the rich and famous, in 1969 Warhol also created a vehicle to both critique and celebrate that culture: Interview magazine. He also made a number of forays into television. Apart from appearing, as himself, in popular television series such as Love Boat, he also hosted two cable programs in the 1980s: Andy Warhol's TV and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes. The episodes included in this exhibition feature segments with artists Eleanor Antin and Yoko Ono, musicians The Ramones and Debbie Harry, and filmmaker John Waters and his star Divine, among many others. Warhol was the pioneer who paved the way for such current celebrity media outlets as E! Entertainment Television and In Style magazine. In addition, he has had an extraordinary influence on many of the artists in this exhibition.
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Type: biography
Source: Andy Warhol biography from Let's Entertain: Life's Guilty Pleasures, Walker Art Center, 2000.
Added to Site: March 1, 2009