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The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) Paperback – April 6, 1977

4.4 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

PRAISE FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANDY WARHOL
 
"Acute Accurate.Mr. Warhol's usual amazing candor.A constant entertainment and enlightenment."--Truman Capote

From the Back Cover

Andy Warhol claimed that he loved being outside a party—so that he could get in. But more often than not, the party was at his own studio, the Factory, where celebrities—from Edie Sedgwick and Allen Ginsberg to the Rolling Stones and the Velvet Underground—gathered in an ongoing bash.

In The Philosophy of Andy Warhol the enigmatic Warhol makes the reader his confidant on love, sex, food, beauty, fame, work, money, success, and much more.

* Andy on love: "People should fall in love with their eyes closed. Just close your eyes. Don't look."

* Andy on beauty: "I really don't care that much about 'Beauties.' What I really like are Talkers."

* Andy on money: "It's always good to get abstract when it comes to economics."

* Andy on class: "The rich have many advantages over the poor, but the most important one, as far as I'm concerned, is knowing how to talk and eat at the same time."

* Andy on underwear: "I would rather watch somebody buy their underwear than read a book they wrote."

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), a painter and graphic artist, also produced a significant body of film work, including his famous Chelsea Girls. Equally well known in the late sixties and early seventies as resident host at his studio, the Factory, Warhol died in New York in 1987.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest; 1 edition (April 6, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156717204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156717205
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Alston on September 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Seriously, at a certain point when I was around 18 or 19, this was my Bible, or my Little Red Book - I and a handful of friends (Warhol died at about the same time) took every syllable here very, very seriously.

This is kinda funny to me now, but it's a great book still, a truly unique cultural artifact. Warhol - as always maintains the trademark deadpan aloofness here, which had a few odd purposes beyond simply looking cool: there were rare instances when he'd drop his guard and a hint of social relevance would enter the frame, which did run contrary to most of what Warhol did, here especially. Doing so would turn art into something didactic, and - as a joke doesn't work if you have to explain the punch line, art flops if you have to lead your viewers, or readers, by the hand into your meaning. Thus Warhol's stylish glibness and affected cool served a brilliant purpose - it made demands of everyone who came into contact with it.

Here we have Warhol's epigrams - spread out like some artboy approximation of 'Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung,' all about equally quotable, useless, devoid of literary merit, yet (unlike the leaden and ideologically bankrupt Chairman) also stylish and memorable, even at their most zoned out.

The other great method behind Warhol's facades is here as well - the same impulse that turned canned soup into the artworks of a once very, very poor 2nd-generation immigrant's child (if you were going hungry, Campell's soup would in fact become, and possibly remain, a beautiful thing, and we all know that beautiful things are and always will be one of the most fitting of subjects for art). These cryptic sayings and jottings all seem constructed to get us all to see the small stuff for what it is, and learn to appreciate it for that.
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Format: Paperback
According to page 208 of the Warhol Biography Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up by Bob Colacello (1990), Warhol delegated the actual writing of the book to Colacello and Pat Hackett. Colacello wrote the first draft and Hackett wrote the version that was published. Warhol's contribution was to set up the deal, offer a few suggestions and one-liners, and read the finished pages before they were sent off to the publisher. He brought them on his book tour to "remind him" what "he" had written.

If a silkscreen created by Warhol's assistants (carefully aping his art style) but signed by Warhol is still "authentic," does that mean an autobiography written by Warhol's assistants (carefully aping his speaking style) but credited to Warhol on the cover is still an "authentic" autobiography?
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Andy's response to an excess of abstract art was Pop Art.

Andy's response to an excess of abstract philosophy was Pop Philosophy.

This book is not so much about Andy Warhol as it is about Warhol making philosophy pop. To make philosophy pop, Andy shared his observations and values, just as to make art pop, Andy shared the Campbell soup he enjoyed so often.

Philosophy has been abstract for so long, we had forgotten it could be anything else. It had belonged to academicians for so long, we had forgotten it could belong to anyone else.

Andy worked with the topics of abstract philosophy, such as love, beauty, time, death, economics and art ... but he rendered them pop by talking about them the way ordinary people talk about them. Not that Andy seemed ordinary but what do you call concerns of pimples (in "Beauty"), not being able to shop on Sunday (in "Economics"), or waiting in line for movies (in "Time"). Views of Andy's but also acts of making topics previously owned by abstract philosophy into instances of pop philosophy.

Pop philosophy can also move beyond the limitations of stuffy abstract philosophy. Andy offers a chapter on something not to be found in academic philosophy: not "Power" but "Underwear Power". The same commercialism found in pop art can be found here in pop philosophy: "Buying is much more American than thinking..."

So philosophy needn't be just about thinking, it can be about our everyday lives: loving, working and buying underwear. Andy liked having loud music on when doing art so he wouldn't think too much. Perhaps thinking too much gets in the way of good philosophy. If your underwear fits well, there may be no need to work out a lengthy critique of dialectical reasoning.
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By A Customer on December 2, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my 5 favorite books of all time. I'm not a huge fan of Andy's art, but his PHILOSOPHIES are AMAZING! He's got such a creative mind. Willing to look at things from underneath instead of only from the front. Such great thoughts as, "If there's one person I would really like to put on retainer it would be a boss. Someone that tells you what to do so you don't need to make all of your own decisions." And, "The best space is an empty space. I feel bad making art for a living - which really just wastes all that wonderful empty space. The only thing better than an empty room is an empty room with a little hole in the wall that looks over into another empty room." These might not be the best examples, but just two off the top of my head. His little commentaries on life will open your mind & hopefully cause you to look at your own daily life in your own twisted philosophies. Enjoy!
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