Saturday, January 12, 2008

andy, marilyn, and that crazy valerie

Andy Warhol, the famous protagonist of pop art and creator of the iconic serigraph portraits of Marilyn Monroe (below), had his share of caustic critics – and deadly enemies – during his lifetime.

One such enemy was a woman named Valerie Solanas, a radical feminist writer best known for the SCUM Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men), an essay on patriarchal culture which advocates the creation of an all-female society. I've attached a pic of her at the bottom, left.

She shot Warhol on June 3, 1968.

That day, she waited for him at The Factory, Warhol's New York City art studio. When he arrived, she fired three shots at him. Then she shot his companion, art critic Mario Amaya, and aimed at Warhol's manager, Fred Hughes, but her gun jammed.

Later that evening, she turned herself in to the police, confessing that Warhol had 'too much control over her life'.

Investigation revealed that Valerie had been demanding Warhol, who was also a indie filmmaker, to return her script entitled 'Up Your Ass' (about a man-hating prostitute and a panhandler) that she had shown to him in 1966 in the hope of having it produced.

Unfortunately, Andy had lost it.

And so the constant hassling and stalking began. And ended with a deadly bang.

Warhol survived the tragedy, but Valerie didn't. After her arrest and subsequent release, she moved in and out of mental institutions. On occasions, she persisted to stalk her nemesis and got arrested again. In 1988, at the age of 52, she died embittered and insane.

Yes, an enemy maybe terrifying – but I tell you, hate can the deadliest adversary of all.

(Top, right) Series 15's Andy Warhol Bearbrick (with his self-portrait on its back) is an 'Artist' bear which is hard to find. On its chest is a reproduction of his 1986 painting, 'Repent and sin no more!' Hmmm... was that intended for Valerie?

Valerie pic/info from Wikipedia & / Marilyn serigraph painting from