A BiographyAn intimate depiction of the visionary who revolutionized the art world
A man who created portraits of the rich and powerful, Andy Warhol was one of the most incendiary figures in American culture, a celebrity whose star shone as brightly as those of the Marilyns and Jackies whose likenesses brought him renown. Images of his silvery wig and glasses are as famous as his renderings of soup cans and Brillo boxes—controversial works that elevated commerce to high art. Warhol was an enigma: a partygoer who lived with his mother, an inarticulate man who was a great aphorist, an artist whose body of work sizzles with sexuality but who considered his own body to be a source of shame.
In critic and poet Wayne Koestenbaum’s dazzling look at Warhol’s life, the author inspects the roots of Warhol’s aesthetic vision, including the pain that informs his greatness, and reveals the hidden sublimity of Warhol’s provocative films. By looking at many facets of the artist’s oeuvre—films, paintings, books, “Happenings”—Koestenbaum delivers a thought-provoking picture of pop art’s greatest icon.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
“Throughout, Koestenbaum’s engagements with Warhol’s life and art, tinged with poetic brilliance and surgical dispassion, feel very high-stakes indeed, making this book an engrossing battle of wills.” —Publishers Weekly
“This is a portrait of the artist’s heart and mind, a biography of his insides, the impulses that drove him to create.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“[Koestenbaum] gives us a Warhol who is ineffably sad but heroic too: a man full of bravado, patience, energy and devotion to work, to making things. It’s a book that should tempt both those generally familiar with Andy Warhol and, even more, young people who have trouble imagining how popular art can challenge the status quo.” —Los Angeles Times
About the author
Wayne Koestenbaum has published over a dozen books on such subjects as hotels, Harpo Marx, humiliation, Jackie Onassis, and opera. His latest book of prose is My 1980s & Other Essays (2013); his latest book of poetry is Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background (2012). Koestenbaum's first solo exhibition of paintings took place at White Columns gallery in New York during the fall of 2012. He is a distinguished professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.