Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Book Review, Kind Of

Back in 1989 my dear friend Debra and I each bought a copy of The Andy Warhol Diaries. She, being an artist, was a fan of his work. I was aware of who he was and trusted Debra's taste. We read it then. I don't remember a lot about my thoughts from that time. I'm sure I was shocked at all of the talk of drugs. I was probably more interested in his friendship with Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. Well, I pulled the book out early in December to reread since I've been in a 1970s state of mind. This time through I've noticed so much. He talks a LOT about drugs in the 70s. Did any of the celebrities get angry and try to file lawsuits? I don't know that I'd want the world knowing that I did all sort of substances in front of my kids, for example. He didn't go into detail about the rumored debauchery at Studio 54, probably because the person he was talking to already knew all about it. I would like to hear more, though, being a bit curious as to how bad it really could have been. Andy worked so much. His work days seem to be twelve or more hours a day, sometimes even on Sundays. I've seen pictures of lots of his paintings, but there must be hundreds more for me to see, not including the private portraits that he did. I'll have to check the local library for some books of his art collections. After working until nine or so he'd go out with his friends for dinner and clubbing until the early morning and the get up and do it again. He must have been used to it, having lived that life for twenty-some years. There are some people, like Bianca Jagger, who are in the entirety of the diaries. He talked of a different group of people as he got more into the Eighties. Up-and-coming stars must have sought him out for publicity since he knew so many people and was seen everywhere. He seemed lonely, though. There are several entries where he spoke of wanting a romance. I imagine his schedule made having a boyfriend difficult, especially in those days of hedonism. I was very aware, this time through, of how many people died from AIDS. Living in the middle of nowhere, we didn't get too much news of AIDS until later in the Eighties. Andy starts talking about it in about 1982, although he referred to it as "gay cancer" because it didn't have a name yet. He was really worried about it, even without a lover. I wonder if people wouldn't give permission to have their pictures in the book. There are two sections of photos, but they're both small and the pictures are kind of blah. Andy talked about having a camera with him all the time. What happened to all of those pictures? Maybe they're all in another book somewhere. I guess the review part is this - it's an interesting book, especially if you're a fan of that era (mid-Seventies to 1987) or are a Warhol fan. The editor claims to have left it mostly intact, so if that's true it's a close look into the mind of an artist and celebrity. It's made me wonder, of course, what he would have thought of today. A person can become famous for a picture on Instagram. The internet has created a new world of celebrities. And reality television...Warhol's movies Eat and Sleep kind of started the "reality" genre in a way. I'm sure all of the Real Housewives would have loved having portraits painted by the same man who painted Jerry Hall and Liza Minnelli. Now I need to decide what to read next. Should I hit the library for a biography of one of the Studio 54 crowd? Maybe back to Sherlock Holmes? Dragons and wizards? I always have a tough time deciding. A final note for today...yesterday I was browsing CVS while waiting for a prescription refill and saw, in the Valentine's Day section, a gift set of Halston cologne and body lotion for $14.99. I wonder if it smells the same as it did when it was new. I let Eric know that I'd like to get it. It's a bit sad, though, that Halston is on the shelf while Coty Musk is locked up. Okay, that's all for today. No pictures, sorry. I'll share some knitting next time as soon as I get this project finished.

1 comment:

Curtise said...

The book sounds interesting. Warhol was extraordinarily prescient in his observations about fame, and his art and persona are fascinating, but I wonder if anyone really got close to him and knew him well? He seems to have remained a private and self-contained man, for all the hedonism and apparent sociability.
Once I've finished one sort of book, I usually want to read something completely different, by way of a contrast! xxx