Warhol superstars  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
The Warhol Superstars refers to a coterie of New York personalities promoted by Andy Warhol during the 1960s and early 1970s. The Superstars appeared in Warhol's artworks and accompanied him in his social life. They epitomized Warhol's famous dictum: "Everyone will be famous, for fifteen minutes."

The first recognised Superstar was Baby Jane Holzer, whom Warhol featured in many of his early film experiments. Warhol's interest in applying a model drawn from Fordism to the production of art saw this relationship set the pattern for many years to come.

The Superstars would help Warhol generate publicity while Warhol offered fame and attention in return. Warhol's philosophies of art and celebrity met in a way that replicated the film studios at their most powerful. The actors belonged to the studio and were to do as instructed.

Among the most well-known of Warhol's Superstars was Edie Sedgwick. Sedgwick and Warhol became very close during 1965 but their relationship ended abruptly early in the next year. Warhol would continue to associate himself with people including Viva, Candy Darling, Ultra Violet, Nico and International Velvet.

Warhol's 'Factory’ played host to most of his Superstars and as his experiments in film continued he became more interested in the bohemian eccentrics attracted to the studio. Some of the most important superstars to emerge from the period of the first Factory (known as the 'Silver Factory' because silver foil had been applied to the walls and ceilings) include Paul America, Ondine, Taylor Mead, Mary Woronov, Eric Emerson, Gerard Malanga, Billy Name and Brigid Berlin.

In the later films, made in collaboration with Paul Morrissey, Warhol brought in new superstars including Joe Dallesandro, Penny Arcade, Andrea Feldman, Jane Forth, Geraldine Smith and Sylvia Miles. During this period Warhol developed an increasing fascination with transsexuals and drag queens, and promoted Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis to Superstar status.

Warhol significantly reduced his public accessibility after being shot by Valerie Solanas in 1968. The age of the Warhol Superstar soon faded.

Chelsea Girls (a film about life amongst 'the Superstars' at Hotel Chelsea) was the only film to achieve success beyond the confines of artistic New York.

The later Warhol/Morrissey collaborations Flesh, Trash, Heat and Women in Revolt; into which Warhol had little input, are more frequently seen.

List of Warhol Superstars




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Warhol superstars" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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