The Andy Warhol Diaries (2022) s01e06 Episode Script

Loving the Alien

1 I guess I can't put off talking about it any longer.
Wednesday, the day my biggest nightmare came true.
The signing was on the second floor on the balcony.
I had been signing America books for an hour or so.
When this girl in line handed me hers to sign.
She was really pretty, a nice-looking, well-dressed girl.
And then she she did what she did.
And the diary can write itself here.
There were so many people with cameras.
It was so shocking.
It hurt physically.
And it hurt that nobody had warned me.
You know, you're in this place and everybody's being so nice.
And you don't think anything will happen.
I don't know what held me back from pushing her over the balcony.
And I had just gotten another magic crystal, which is supposed to protect me and keep things like this from happening.
It was like in a movie.
It was like getting shot again.
It wasn't real.
I was just a comedian there.
Pleasing the people.
I was pretending that it didn't mean anything and eventually it doesn't.
You have to live with it.
When I got home, I had two English muffins with margarine and garlic, which isn't so good for my gallbladder.
And I tried the Campbell's dry soup.
It was good.
And then Pat called and told me she was proud of me, and that I was a great man, and that sure was a first.
So that's that.
And now I never have to talk about it again.
There was a boy A very strange enchanted boy They say he wandered very far Very far Over land and sea A little shy And sad of eye But very wise Was he The greatest thing You'll ever learn Is just to love And be loved In return Andy was a very lonely person, desperate for love throughout his life.
When he was a young boy and he understood that he was gay, the love that he wanted to express to other young boys was impossible.
So, it was suffering.
Everything was suffering inside.
After meeting all these crazy, underground artists in New York, it's another story because he could really have whatever kind of sex he wanted to have.
And the sad story with Jon Gould.
Andy was very much in love with him, but suffering inside.
It's a story of suffering.
And all his work creates so many questions.
I mean, look at the electric chairs.
This is the dark side that Warhol has.
It's not all pop and bright colors and silver pillows.
Like for instance, the death and disaster series.
They're hard to see, those paintings.
People find those images compelling, and people slow down when there's a wreck on the freeway.
There's something about it.
It's repellent, but it's seductive.
And I think Warhol understood that profoundly.
They are amongst, I think, the most searing paintings that Warhol ever made.
They're a kind of study on death.
When I filmed Andy myself, for instance, I asked him why he chose so many themes of violence in his paintings.
Why the electric chair? Why dead women in front of a car? Why the widow of a president? Why airplane crashes, disasters? He as usual refused to give a direct answer, but the answer really is that the paintings are a comment and a commentary about the kind of world in which we live.
It's like, you really want to dig deep.
You know, America's a very complex, violent, crazy culture filled with amazing opportunity, and Warhol just engenders all of those unbelievable contradictions.
So, it's not as if Warhol is hidden.
There are things that you can see in the work if you look for it.
And even the Diaries, a lot of people tend not to see the darker side.
Wilfredo picked me up.
And we went to the Perry Ellis show.
And at the end, there was a pause.
And they carried Perry out.
and some people were crying.
They said he had AIDS.
Before they had been saying that he was just upset and having a nervous breakdown because his boyfriend died of it.
All this week we are concentrating on the fear and the facts about AIDS.
There is so much fear that the public now ranks AIDS along with cancer as the nation's greatest health problem.
There are AIDS victims who can't find a bed to die in, or an ambulance to take them there, or a Funeral Parlor to bury them.
How do these doctors really feel about sick people? Do they care about you and really want you to get better? Or is it just a business? I mean, I think about doing portraits, and do I really care if they look good? Or is it just a job? And that's just a superficial thing.
It's not life and death.
Really what is life about? You get sick and die that's it.
So, you've just got to keep busy.
I think Warhol was not taken seriously as an artist for a long time.
That must have been devastating for him in the 1980s to think, "I've used up all of my ideas.
I've trashed my career because of my obsession with media and celebrity and being out there.
" The art world was not having it, but I think what we're starting to understand now is, some of that work was really incredibly powerful, especially the work that kind of returned to Catholic imagery, that talked in an indirect way about this sense of doom in New York City that surely is related to the AIDS crisis.
I do believe that certainly AIDS, venereal diseases, all of these kinds of things, is a definite form of the judgment of God upon a society.
You had the 700 Club, PTL Club, Jerry Falwell saying every day that AIDS is God's punishment for being gay.
I remember going to Unity Church uptown.
It was filled with gay men.
There was nowhere else to turn.
So, a lot of people were turning to God.
Warhol was going to mass every Sunday and sort of stayed a good Catholic boy, even though his lifestyle would seemingly be the opposite, you know.
How do you reconcile those things? I'm trying to find another store that sells the sculpture of The Last Supper, but it's so expensive, about $2,500.
So, I'm trying to find it cheaper in Times Square.
I'm doing The Last Supper for Iolas.
And I'm also doing The Volcanoes.
So, I guess I'm a commercial artist.
I guess that's the score.
There was this very specific commission with Alexander Iolas to honor DaVinci's Last Supper.
The great Iolas.
He was an art dealer.
A little Greek guy that wore platform shoes.
I like him though.
I love him.
Alexander Iolas was Warhol's first show ever in New York for drawings that he did.
So, there's this real connection with him.
For those Last Supper paintings, Warhol does a series of large canvases that are beautiful and striking, and I think it was 22 works specifically for that commission.
Andy and The Last Supper, together, this combination, I think that created fire really in the artistic world, and it opens a totally new Andy Warhol.
He made the most incredible, gigantic painting, also changing The Last Supper completely.
There is a part that belongs to the real Ultima Cena, but it's only inspired.
There is an enormous production.
He does a yellow Last Supper, sometimes flips the screen over so that it's two vantage points.
And there's a lot of repetition.
He does a camouflage Last Supper.
To use camouflage, which is war, which is an element of war, I mean, that's it.
You cannot explain it differently.
And having a religious image and juxtaposing the two of them.
I mean, he has a vision.
I don't know who the expert is who can really explain it.
With a great artist, there are multiple interpretations.
There's no one interpretation of The Last Supper, or the Marilyn, or of any of Andy's works.
With the late self-portraits, it's part of the whole identity issue with Andy, of him passing into mainstream society as a gay man that the real Andy is camouflaged.
Very, very meaningful works.
The Last Supper is a summation of Andy's whole artistic enterprise.
So first it's going back to the hand painting, his deep Catholicism, his identification with Christ and the disciples is possibly a gay fraternity.
It's also a response to the death of Jon Gould and the bleak environment of the mid-1980s in New York.
And the part of what Duchamp introduced is the idea that it's the viewer who completes the work of art.
So yes, we can bring our own experience to Andy.
So, it's not just the artist.
It's us viewing the work who activates it.
For me, I really embrace Warhol as someone that's inspirational for my own life.
We claim him now, we claim him as being this queer icon, but it's hard to think like, well, did he actually reject the community or could he have done more? We went and watched the gay day parade.
The gay cops and I got the biggest clap.
And I took photos.
All the beauties must have been shopping in SoHo or out on Fire Island.
Because they sure weren't in this parade.
It looked like Halloween, but without the costumes.
During the AIDS crisis, Warhol was sort of you know, according to the Diaries, I think he was scared.
Scared of getting sick, I think, versus being compassionate, or the activist he possibly could have been.
And they say that these kids who have sex all the time have it in their semen.
I'm worried that I could get it by drinking out of the same glass.
Or just being around these kids who go to the baths.
And I mean, I get so nervous.
I don't even do anything, and I could get it.
At times, it can seem a bit selfish that he was maybe only interested in his own queer circle or his own life.
The queer scholarship discussed this way that Warhol essentially failed AIDS, that Warhol wasn't the political activist artist that people wanted.
I think the important thing is to realize that Warhol is also a Catholic, and he's still going to church.
And contributing to this movement to bring attention to AIDS was never going to be Warhol's story.
When you can come to terms with that, then you can actually see that late work as this real expression, as a personal expression with Warhol, of a way to think about Christ as being this face of empathy or forgiveness of AIDS.
The Big C is a painting that happens during this whole Last Supper period.
It wasn't until I found in the archives the source material, which is pieces of New York Post headlines taped together that has the word AIDS, that I started thinking, there's a lot going on in this painting that no one has talked about before.
There's this idea that somehow he failed AIDS in a way and I thought to myself, no one has ever given Warhol credit to respond to this crisis in a way in the work.
And what I find in this work is such an echo to early Warhol, this idea of using advertising symbolism as language, to have the Wise potato chip eye.
This idea of there's an omnipresence of God.
There's this whole history of the sexualized motorcycle man.
One of his earliest screen print paintings is of Marlon Brando on a motorcycle, this iconic image of him.
I think the thing you can't ever take out of it for him, are these queer references.
The Mark of the Beast is another black and white advertisement that Warhol does that is 666.
And so, you could play with these numbers and flip them around in that way, and those paintings in particular read so directly for me to the language that is being used around AIDS.
So, you have Mark of the Beast, 666, you have Heaven and Hell are One Breath Away, Repent and Sin No More.
And this reference is really powerful, I think, at this late point in Warhol's career when he's thinking a lot about death.
People in his life very close to him have passed away from a disease that is wrapped around a moral crisis and wrapped around shame.
Warhol's making all of this work together at the same time.
And to have Christ with this real emphasis on the face, with his eyes looking down at his gesture of his hand, which is all about forgiveness.
Oh, the sun's coming out! - Photograph the sun coming up.
- This is Jonny.
Maybe that's forgiveness for Warhol himself, thinking about operating what would be perceived in his faith as a sinful existence.
There's a conversation happening around faith and sexuality, and fear, and forgiveness, and guilt.
And when you piece together this love story, all of these things explode on the canvas.
For me, it was like, wow, The Big C is synonymous with gay cancer.
It's a way to say AIDS is part of the conversation that's happening on that canvas.
And it's connected to how Warhol's thinking about Christ.
So, I think that this quote of his, that his work is one-dimensional and, "if you want to know anything about my work, there's nothing there," is really just not true.
So now when you see The Last Supper, the drama cannot be overstated.
I'm deciding when to go to Milan.
My Last Supper show for Iolas is the Thursday after next.
I just can't face going to Europe.
It's so cold over there.
Fell asleep with MTV on and had rock video nightmares.
Got up at 6 a.
and packed.
The weather in New York was great, and I hated to leave it.
Chris Makos picked me up.
It's so ironic that this whole Last Supper thing is the very last trip.
Woke up in Milan.
Went to the gallery for the 11 a.
press conference.
Andy arrived in Milano very, very ill.
He had gallbladder pain, his face was like a skeleton.
250 press people.
It was scary and stupid.
They were asking him many kinds of questions, and Andy didn't answer.
And at the end they said, "What is really the Italian culture for you?" And Andy said, "I love spaghetti.
" Come on.
He's teasing all of us.
He's smarter than that.
I'd been around so many famous people and there was never this kind of rock star feeling.
I mean, people would just swarm all around Andy like, you know, some kind of God.
This is the time for the pictures.
Then it's basta, finito, okay? Go ahead.
Got that all over with.
Found Iolas in the VIP room.
He was like a little old lady wrapped up in fabric.
We found out later that he had come out of the hospital just to pick us up.
Iolas was really sweet.
He had to be driven back to the hospital.
Alexander Iolas dies not too long after that point.
Daniela Morera came and began taking over.
Andy was so down.
The photographers would say, "We want some action.
" I was telling Andy, you know, "Give me a laugh.
" I started to jump.
I always wanted to help him and to take him out of his pain.
She said she had the flu, and I knew I was going to get it from her.
- We'll be back.
- Okay.
There was so much going on.
There was a lot of distractions.
There were non-stop dinners and events and parties.
Had lunch with Gianni Versace.
Went to his castle.
It was grand.
So glamorous.
Gianni did the costumes for Salomé at La Scala.
He got us tickets.
Sat in a box seat, watching the Opera.
Then I had to go to a dinner for me.
I ate a lot.
And Daniela was coughing into my food.
I'd been resisting her flu for two days straight while she talked into my face.
But finally, I gave in and got it.
Perhaps I I did like that.
That's it.
And they made such a big story.
I mean, I didn't get sick.
I didn't go to bed.
As a matter of fact, a few days later, I took the plane and I went to New York.
He let me know that he wasn't feeling good.
Chris came by and ordered soup, taking my temperature every minute.
It went up and down.
Because of being shot, he had to worry about his gallbladder.
In his condition, you weren't supposed to eat heavily fatty things.
And of course, in Italy, everything is very oily, and that was sort of irritating all of his insides.
My temperature went up to 100, so I began taking vitamin Cs.
And my stomach got sour.
And I kept taking Valiums and not being able to sleep.
Went home just exhausted.
I remember coming home on the Concorde, feeling we couldn't come home fast enough.
We got to New York.
I really wasn't feeling well.
Vincent was doing the TV show and there were no celebrity hosts available.
So, we used a cute girl model.
Wasn't that romantic? Do you go out a lot? No, because I'm working all the time.
- But you know - Oh, that's great.
Once in a while, I go on weekend dates, so But when I did my scenes with her, I sat in a funny position and I got a pain.
And it didn't go away.
I knew there was something weird because we were supposed to go to a movie and we went to 3rd Avenue, and just as we were about to cross the street, Andy said, "I think I should go home.
" I got scared.
And they dropped me off.
I went inside and I locked the dogs out of the room because they were bothering me.
And they got mad.
They didn't understand.
I felt a sharp pain.
I guess it was a gallbladder attack.
So now I'm throwing out all the junk food.
My philosophy is life is not worth living if you're not healthy.
And health is wealth.
It's better than money, and companionship, and love, and everything else.
In the morning, I was preparing myself for my appearance in the fashion show at The Tunnel.
He pushed himself.
He didn't allow himself to let physical things, uh you know, stop him.
There was a fashion show at The Tunnel.
Andy was modeling and I was with him there.
I could tell he was in a lot of pain.
Usually when Andy has to do some kind of like a modeling gig, he would look like he could really turn it, you know.
That looks good! We'll do anything you want.
Just like, have fun.
I hadn't seen Andy that day until that moment when he showed up.
I have to say, he doesn't look that great.
They had sent the clothes over, and I looked like Liberace in them.
Snakeskin and rabbit fur.
Should I just go all the way and be the new Liberace? Miles Davis was there.
Oh, I didn't know you were an artist! Really? God, all my friends are gonna be so jealous.
- Why? - That I spent some time with you.
- Oh.
- Yeah, they are.
They're really such big fans of yours.
We made a deal that we'd trade ten minutes of him playing music for me, for me doing a portrait.
- I'm gonna do a portrait of you.
- That's a deal now.
- Okay, it's a deal.
- Alright? - Yeah, it's a deal.
- I love you right now.
- Okay, I'll do a portrait of you.
- Yeah! Feel myself falling to the ground They did a $5,000 custom outfit for Miles with gold musical notes on it and everything.
And they didn't do a thing for me.
They were so mean, so, I looked like the poor stepchild.
Open my eyes and look around And in the end, they even told me I walk too slow.
And I really worked my ass off.
I was sleeping so heavily that I didn't wake up when Pat called at nine o'clock.
And when I didn't answer, she got scared because that had never happened before.
So, she called on the other line, and Aurora answered in the kitchen.
And Pat made her come up to my bedroom to shake me.
But I wish she'd just let me sleep.
He was so tired.
It was the first time that it happened, but I thought, "Oh, he must have been" I don't know what I thought.
He should have had his gallbladder out earlier than that.
But he was very nervous about hospitals and death.
Andy didn't want me to even be there for the surgery.
He wanted nobody.
And I said, "Well, I'll be there.
" And I saw him lying in bed and it was 5:00 roughly in the afternoon, and he'd already been given a sedative and was asleep.
I didn't get a chance to talk to him.
And I really I was incredibly nervous and frightened that he wouldn't make it out alive.
And I was told everything was fine Saturday afternoon.
And I think I made plans to be at the hospital Sunday morning, to see him.
He called me.
His voice was a little faint, and he goes, "I can't eat.
" And I go, "Well, what are you eating?" And he goes, "Jell-O.
" And I remember saying to him, "What color? Is it yellow Jell-O or orange Jell-O or green?" He goes, "Red Jell-O.
" 'Cause we would tease each other.
He wanted to just come out on the other side and then talk about it.
I don't want to be a crier on camera.
Will you not put me on this part? Tama, she called me, and she said, "Andy's dead.
" And I said, "No, he's not.
It's not true.
It's not true.
I'll call him now.
" And I called and the voice that answered sounded like Andy.
I just said, "Andy!" like that.
He encompassed my entire aura in life at that point.
And, um, yeah My worst case scenario comes true when Fred calls me, whenever it was, 6:30, right after he died.
I couldn't believe it.
No one could.
And because Andy was gay, they were asking a lot of questions about his lifestyle, and they intimated, you know, he could have died of AIDS.
We said, "Listen.
We don't care.
We want to find out what killed him.
" It was a wrongful death lawsuit.
Warhol's two older brothers, John and Paul, are in court seeking damages in a malpractice suit, charging New York hospital and 11 other defendants with gross negligence.
We think that we'll be able to show that he died prematurely, and that he was a great artist and should have lived for a lot longer than February 22nd, 1987.
Warhol underwent gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital on February 21st, and died of cardiac arrhythmia the next day.
Attorneys say Warhol, anemic and malnourished prior to surgery, was given more fluids than his body could absorb, was improperly monitored, and died of internal drowning.
We all thought Uncle Andy, if he didn't die of that gallbladder surgery and the complications, I think he'd still be alive today.
And five, four, three, two, one, action.
I don't believe in death because you're not around to know that it happened.
I don't believe in death because you're not around to know that it happened.
I don't believe in death because you're not around to know that it happened.
I don't believe in death because you're not around to know that it happened.
I don't believe in death because you're not around to know that it happened.
Um I don't I really don't believe in death because you you don't know you're around You're round, you're square.
I don't believe in death because you're not around to know that it happened, uh I always think people go uptown.
They just go to a department store and they'll be back the same afternoon or you just keep waiting for them.
The funeral was on April Fool's Day at St.
And what I mostly remember is the size of it and the huge number of people, all of whom were in one way or another connected to Andy.
I think everyone was in shock.
It felt like the last party.
It was overwhelming because you know, one side of you just wants to break down and cry, but the other side of you, you're out in public and you know, it's like a celebrity event.
Everyone in New York was there.
I mean really, it was powerful.
Although Andy was perceived, with some justice, as a passive observer, I'd like to recall a side of his character that he hid from all but his closest friends: his spiritual side.
Those of you may be surprised that such a side existed.
But exist it did and it's the key to the artist's psyche.
The knowledge of this secret piety inevitably changes our perception of an artist who fooled the world into believing that his only obsessions were money, fame, and glamor, and that he was cool to the point of callousness.
Never take Andy at his face value.
The callous observer was, in fact, a recording angel.
And Andy's detachment, the distance he established between himself and the world, was above all, a matter of innocence, and a matter of art.
Though ever in his thoughts, Andy's religion didn't surface in his work until two or three Christmases ago, when he embarked on a series of Last Suppers, inspired by a plaster mock-up of Leonardo's masterpiece that he found in Times Square.
And Andy's use of a pop conceit to energize sacred subjects constitutes a major breakthrough in religious art.
And how awesomely cool, how awesomely prophetic, is one of his very last paintings, which simply announces, "Heaven and Hell are just one breath away!" Hearing John Richardson do the eulogy, and this whole talk about Warhol's spiritual life was like, wow.
It was a bit of a surprise to me.
There were no queer studies about Warhol until after his death.
There was such a reluctance to talk about AIDS and Warhol.
When he decides to take the commission to do the Last Supper series, the gay cancer, AIDS, what at that point was almost a death sentence, do you think that that played a role in his creative choices? No.
No, because the art dealer that commissioned these paintings thought that this would be a perfect thing for Italy.
The banks would love it.
Yes, Alexander Iolas commissioned these paintings.
And turns out Iolas is sick with AIDS.
The disease is really all around Warhol.
For anyone who lived through that period in the '80s, AIDS is something that you thought of every hour.
This is the other work that's part of the Last Supper series where it says, "Big C.
" Well, let me see that.
What does the C mean? The big C refers to either Jesus Christ or gay cancer.
Where do you get this impression? I'm just curious.
I mean, if you look at all of Andy's work, it's all about graphics.
So, maybe he just felt like there's an empty space here and the C looked good.
I mean, one has to put the word "gay" in here to come up with the gay cancer, don't they? 'Cause I don't see a G anywhere here.
It's like saying nothing means anything in any of his paintings.
And I think so much has been about divorcing his lived experience so far away that I think it's done damage to how we can fully read the work.
And so, I think the most important thing is for me to look at the late work differently, to bring in this idea of AIDS, and Jon, and Warhol's Catholic roots, the shame, the fear, all of that into the canvas.
I heard somebody at his Museum or the foundation, "This proud gay man.
" Yes, he was proud and you know, gay, but not necessarily proud of being gay.
It was just what it was.
He didn't want to be a cliché.
In other words, he wouldn't want to be a famous gay artist.
He wanted to be a famous artist.
Warhol's queerness is even hard to talk about to people who are close to him.
There still are all of these issues of taboo and judgment around homosexuality that still exist in the way we talk about history.
Well, was Andy out? Well, he was never in, so, uh you know Why does an individual have to say what they are? One of my most favorite times with Andy is going to a Liberace concert.
Looking in the audience, I don't think they cared one way or the other whether Liberace was gay or straight or anything.
They were there for the sheer spectacle.
Andy Warhol never had to say, "I'm a gay person.
" It's like asking if Liberace is gay.
"Liberace, are you gay?" Well, you decide.
I totally see where you're coming from, but there's an opportunity to remove the stigma and, you know, the idea of, "Liberace: is he gay or not? You decide," there's no decision to be made, it's it is the reality.
These conversations that I'm having with you, I feel like I'm with a shrink because, um you sort of bring out memories that, you know, are there, but, uh, you have to be sort of cajoled back into it.
And looking at these videos and things reminds me of that time frame and it reminds me of my particular influence at that time.
Chris Makos took this picture of Andy in drag.
You look very good in drag, Andy.
Oh, well that's Oh yeah, I am.
- And there are five - Really, because I'm - Five more like that with different poses.
- I'm with No, I'm with the Zoli agency, and I thought, if I can't work as a boy, I could work as a girl, so I mean, I didn't identify with gay.
Clearly, I was gay.
But, you know, I was just being who I am.
I mean this idea of coming out was just alien to all of us.
I mean, I had a boyfriend, but I wasn't going to say, "Oh, by the way, I'm gay.
" Yeah, I hated his photos.
I was mad at Andy for doing them.
He looks so sad.
I thought that we were very well positioned to get a lot more portraits.
Most of them, I think, would have said, "Oh, you know, I always thought Andy Warhol was a creep, and now he's proving it to me again.
" So, um it was making my job harder.
They all worked for Andy.
They all depended on Andy for their livelihood.
Christopher Makos is an example of someone that Interview created, discovered.
Not really, but, um Well, in a sense we did help his career a lot.
- As we've helped the career of - Bob, stop.
Start again.
- Alright.
- Do it again.
I was just talking about how Andy discovers things, so, this would be a good example.
And they were very aware of the mystique they were creating, of the image they were creating.
I can be in self-denial of what was going on.
I don't want to bring up a subject like that to him.
And to this day, every time I do anything, I do it thinking of Andy the way I remembered him and what he would like.
Of course, it's a cult! It seems like as the years go by, they keep the Warhol cult as the way it should be, in their memory.
The people that are closest to him, it's like your family.
There's a way in which you see someone and then there's all this resistance on keeping it a certain way, protecting it.
When I looked at the cover of the Diary, the book cover said, "Edited by Pat Hackett".
So, I always am curious in my mind if Andy looked through the typewritten thing and made corrections or not.
He read them.
I'd bring them to the office once a week or every two weeks and he'd have them there.
Every once in a while he'd tell me if something wasn't right and I'd fix it.
I re-read Pat's introduction, which I hadn't read in a long time, and how she edited and how she wanted to keep the flow, which I think is interesting, but there's a lot missing.
Pat said in the diaries that Jed had his bedroom on the fourth floor, which wasn't true.
They shared a bedroom.
The fourth floor was the office for the interior design, but it was a bedroom.
And, um I suppose it was at one point maybe meant to be thought that Jed and Andy had separate bedrooms, and that's why there was another bedroom, but it wasn't true.
Jed did stay in Andy's bedroom.
Always, yeah.
I think maybe it was Pat's own way of avoiding the truth.
It's supposed to be just Andy.
So, we take Pat at her word, and I'm sure they are just his words, but I don't know, I never know with I mean, you know, again, I wasn't an intimate of his, so It just seems to me that he's so good at throwing people.
And sort of you know, not necessarily ever being direct.
You know, I think Pat was trying to protect the image or something.
What about people who say that you in your editing have pushed it in one direction or another? Like, for what for what purpose? I mean, I don't even the purpose You know those bracelets people would wear? You know, "What Would Jesus Do?" Always it's like, "What Would Andy Want?" People talk to different people about different things.
The Diaries are the things that he talked to me about, and if he had wanted different things in the Diaries, he would have had a different person doing them.
You know, the question they should ask is like, "What did he say to you and then say, 'but don't write that in the diary'?" Those are the things.
But I mean, that's between him and me.
Did Andy ever dream that your daily conversations would end up in a book? Yeah, that was the whole idea of doing them, but of course, we didn't know that he would die so soon.
After I got the Diaries published, I just felt, "Okay.
I have done what I needed to do.
I did what he wanted me to do, and, um, I hope I did a good job.
" Then it settles in and you don't have your You don't have your routine that you loved anymore with, you know, your friend.
I always thought, well, you know Andy's quite a bit older so he'll die, you know, he'll die first.
But then I will have Jed.
This is Archie Warhol, and I think he likes us.
Yes, I think I can say that, can I, Archie? Good? Yes.
But then, not long after that, you know, uh Jed was killed on Flight 800.
We are bringing you further updates on a developing story at this hour.
It is believed that a 747 aircraft has exploded in midair, about 20 miles south of New York's Long Island into the Atlantic Ocean.
I, um was filled with disbelief.
Do you have initial reports on how many passengers and crew were aboard? We have 212 passengers listed on board with 37 crew members.
So, the first thing you have to understand is it's chaos, and no one knows anything about anything.
I went over to Jed and Alan's apartment to comfort Jay and Tom, and Pat Hackett was on the phone with the airline, with TWA and JFK, and trying to find out, you know, where the bodies were going to be and get some news.
But the body was found, and then I went out to the beach, and, of course, our beach house on the ocean, is right where the flight pattern was.
So, you know, I could roll over in bed and I could look up and I can see a TWA Flight flying to Europe.
It was the largest underwater rescue, other than when the Challenger exploded.
So, they went through everything for a year, plus.
They were trying to figure out what happened.
There was over 1,000 FBI agents involved.
They would go on about this conspiracy.
The FBI today raised new questions that a missile, or some kind of streaking object, was seen in the sky at the same time TWA Flight 800 exploded.
We do have information that there was something in the sky.
A number of people have seen it.
So many people swore that they saw something hit the plane.
I don't know.
Again, all this mystery, all this It was assumed that there was some kind of terrorism, and I said, "If there's friendly fire, if something's wrong, they'd tell us, I'd hope.
" And of course, later, we found out exactly what happened because it was an explosion inside the plane.
What was really horrible was I was renting a house then, and these bits and pieces of the plane would wash up on shore.
People in first class, it seemed, broke off, or so, they weren't burned or anything, and just fell into the ocean, and that his body was just, you know, perfect, like he always was: perfect.
Fate really wanted him, or did him in, um It was like God really does take the best first.
And, you know, why does that have to be? And it made me think God is very greedy, and um But, um And then, when I understood it, I never really went into shock, I never stopped, I always kept working because I had this expression of love from Jed.
It erases everything else.
Any other fear, I mean, that got me over it, you know? Like you kind of keep you have to keep moving, you keep going.
That doesn't mean I don't miss him.
I mean, I love him, I think about him every day.
And, you know, we had weathered the big storm, which for us was HIV.
You know, we got through that.
I came to New York with like, probably 30 guys.
I think I can think of one of them who's still alive.
Maybe two.
They're all dead.
Everyone died.
It was devastating.
And to me, it was like sniper fire.
You know, you'd go to a party and, I don't know, Joe would be there, and then Monday morning you'd get a call, "Did you know Joe died on Sunday night?" You'd think like, "Wait a sec," I'm like It was really Then Jed dies in a plane crash.
It's just heartbreaking.
There's a memorial on the island.
We go every year on 17th July.
We'll never forget the night of July 17th, 1996.
But I want you to know this, that all your loved ones shall live in our hearts forever.
It was a big loss, you know.
You know, I understood what Jed was doing, but I had wished that it had worked out with Andy.
I think Andy really cared about him, and I thought they were good together.
And did you ever meet Jon Gould? No.
At the Whitney exhibition recently, the retrospective, and in the portrait room, somebody came over to me and said, "I want you to meet Jay Gould," who was Jon Gould's twin brother, and, you know, I never met Jon, but I didn't know he existed, so It was like, it was more, isn't it interesting that he's here, and he was a twin, and his name's Jay.
I thought, what's that all mean? Few more minutes before we start this sale, the estate of Harriett Gould.
We're an auction company that deals with estates.
What do we say on the watercolor? Who says $50 to start the watercolor? $50 and we'll start that.
$25 on that watercolor and we'll start it.
So, we're dealing with Harriett Gould, who was from Amesbury here.
So, she has passed away in her late 90s.
She did have three children, one of which passed away in the '80s.
His name was Jon Gould.
It seemed like it was gonna be a traditional auction, all Americana, until I go into the attic and I discover this piece that just, it stuck out in my mind.
And I look down, and lo and behold, it's signed, "Jon / Andy Warhol, '83.
" When I found it that day, that's what changed the whole direction of what we were probably going to do as an auction.
Harriett was a very private person, and you think about Andy Warhol and having your son being in a relationship with Andy Warhol, how would you reflect that in the 1980s, you know? It's 30 years ago, think about the culture.
So, what I think was: she had these things, and Harriett had set it up that the things and the house had to be sold, for her own reasoning.
So in that, she knew what she was doing, that this would come out, you know, this close companionship.
As we were going through the house, I realized, "Okay, there has to be some other treasures in here.
" This one is signed Andy Warhol to Jon in 1982.
The Bodybuilder.
This is from 1983: "Picked up Jon at the airport.
He brought me a beautiful pearl gown and jacket, Halston's.
" And so, Jon had got this, had Halston make this for his mother.
This opportunity is never going to happen again.
Andy only had a few companions.
His one prior to Jon was Jed Johnson.
And all of a sudden, I'm finding Kenny Scharf.
Keith Haring.
Then, all of a sudden, I'm finding Jean-Michel Basquiat.
This is the Jean-Michel jacket.
That's unbelievable, that leather jacket.
To be able to say you found three Jean-Michel Basquiats in a house in Amesbury, Massachusetts, It doesn't happen, okay? It just doesn't happen.
So, I'm thinking I found everything I could possibly find, and I'm up in the attic again, on all fours, going through stuff, and get to the bottom of this box.
I find some poetry that Jon had written to Andy.
I already know Andy's side of the story from the works of his circle of people that have written books.
And then all of a sudden, I start to see these words out of Jon's own mouth.
This was not a one-way street.
Andy, was infatuated with Jon, but Jon also had a love for Andy.
There's no question about it.
"I sat in my room With the lights on The drapes open wide Looking out at the California night Two days before the Academy Awards Exercising on the thick, tan carpet naked Spinning on with the room Rodeo Drive flashing Like some jeweled bracelet Shaking on a waving wrist Sunset, Chris hanging up on me Thinking of the times The movie industry Where is the family? Where is the continuity? I spend a lonely night in protest To find love that means something We can talk about continuity About caring for others About being on the top of your feelings Life goes to the movies The way we were Andy, sometimes we sit home and watch TV Over an old table Used once by hired hands Eating vegetables" Hi Katy! Hi Fred! Hi Katy! Hi Fred! Good poetry.
I think he would be proud of his relationship with Andy, especially now.
You know, he's like so many people.
He's part of the story of our changing culture to acceptance.
He's part of that story.
All the controversy about gay and all that is still ongoing you know, it's still not, uh resolved.
Same with racism in this country, you know.
So it's all very painful.
I think there's a lot of people that are neglected in our I don't know if it's who made the paintings or what But, um I don't see Black people are never really portrayed realistically in or maybe I mean, not even portrayed in modern art.
The negative reaction to the collaboration show really hurt Jean-Michel.
He blamed Andy.
So, for a time, he stopped communication.
And of course, Andy was equally hurt.
And before Andy died, they saw each other, but the relationship never really recovered after that.
At the time there was a lot of emotional things that were happening that contributed to a lot of the issues.
You know, Jean-Michel felt like he sold himself out.
He was collaborating with Andy, who felt that he wasn't at his most creative moment.
So, I think there was that inner struggle with Jean-Michel, and Andy was very worried about Jean-Michel.
The drug use, I think he was very disappointed.
It was like, again, the father-son kind of dynamic.
You know, you see your son misbehave, you see someone you really love in the throes of this drug moment in their life, and he would get nervous.
Andy's death hit Jean-Michel at a very sensitive time.
He was losing some of his position in the art world.
The relationship with some of the dealers was not as good as it had been, his drug problem, and he was just very sensitive about where he fit in.
His alienation just got intensified, and exacerbated by Warhol's death.
And even though they had a falling-out before Warhol passed, it was said, like, Jean-Michel was just shattered by his death.
They were almost like a couple.
I don't think that it was an accident that Andy died in February of '87, and then Jean-Michel died in August of '88.
Well, the idea from the Chinese point of view is that everybody has a scale, and if you have too much fame, you can't handle it.
Very few people can handle this much fame, okay? So, when you do get there, you're going to die.
Elvis Presley, for instance.
Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Jean-Michel's tragic, tragic death.
The list goes on.
The great poet dying young, you know? There are all of these little stories that are still there to be uncovered about Warhol being a human being, having real human relationships.
And not this idea that he's this mechanical voyeur, but he really did work on this persona.
And I think what gets hidden is this private life.
It's sort of the alternative to the machine.
Warhol's queerness is part of what that work is about, but I think artwork always exceeds.
In some ways, it's the way that we figure out who we are, rather than express who we are.
The making of the work is an exploration of what we are, rather than, like, "I'm this," and they just put it on the canvas, you know? There's still this desire to see surface, a certain simplicity.
And I just think that Warhol was so good at hiding so many parts of his life.
But you'll never figure him out.
You can make a million movies, you can write a million books, but I don't think you'll ever figure Warhol out, and I hope no one ever does.
There was so much more that Andy could have contributed, and it's interesting what happened shortly after his death.
It seemed the whole critical reception just turned around, and Andy, who never had a survey show at the Museum of Modern Art, his retrospective is planned, all the values go up in the art market, and there's just this whole instant recognition: "Wow, this was the genius of our time.
" I don't think there will be an end of Andy, I think it keeps going on, and everything he said becomes truer and truer, and his imagery becomes more imitated and in everyone's consciousness.
I think it is never-ending.
I think it's going to go on and on and on.
When I got home from the office, I made a lot of phone calls.
Then I walked over to Halston's to pick up Bianca.
She was cooking, and the whole house smelled like onions and hamburgers.
We cabbed up to 86th Street, and we finally hit Saturday Night Fever at the right time.
And we were able to get in.
Well, the movie was just great.
They played up Travolta's big solo dance number.
I guess it's the new kind of fantasy movie.
You're supposed to stay where you are.
The old movies were things like Dead End.
And you had to get out of the dead end and make it to Park Avenue.
And now they're telling you it's better off to stay where you are in Brooklyn, to avoid Park Avenue.
Because it would just make you unhappy.
It's about people who would never even think about crossing the bridge.
That's the fantasy.
And New York looked so exciting, didn't it? Prayers they hide the saddest view Believing the strangest things Loving the alien And your prayers They break the sky in two Believing the strangest things Loving the alien Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa Thinking of a different time Palestine a modern problem Bounty and your wealth in land Terror in a best laid plan, whoa Watching them come and go Tomorrows and the yesterdays Christians and the unbelievers Hanging by the cross and nail, whoa But if you pray All your sins are hooked upon the sky Pray and the heathen lie Will disappear Oh, oh Prayers they hide the saddest view
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