Andy Warhol: A Biography

Open Road Media
Free sample

An 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.
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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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 17, 2015
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Pages
236
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ISBN
9781497699854
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Individual Artists / General
Art / Popular Culture
Biography & Autobiography / Artists, Architects, Photographers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Wayne Koestenbaum returns with a zesty and hyper-literate collection of personal and critical essays

Wayne Koestenbaum has been described as "an impossible lovechild from a late-night, drunken three-way between Joan Didion, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag" (Bidoun). In My 1980s and Other Essays, a collection of extravagant range and style, he rises to the challenge of that improbable description.

My 1980s and Other Essays opens with a series of manifestos—or, perhaps more appropriately, a series of impassioned disclosures, intellectual and personal. It then proceeds to wrestle with a series of major cultural figures, the author's own lodestars and lodestones: literary (John Ashbery, Roberto Bolaño, James Schuyler), artistic (Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol), and simply iconic (Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Lana Turner). And then there is the personal—the voice, the style, the flair—that is unquestionably Koestenbaum. It amounts to a kind of intellectual autobiography that culminates in a string of passionate calls to creativity; arguments in favor of detail and nuance, and attention; a defense of pleasure, hunger, and desire in culture and experience.

Koestenbaum is perched on the cusp of being a true public intellectual—his venues are more mainstream than academic, his style is eye-catching, his prose unfailingly witty and passionate, his interests profoundly wide-ranging and popular. My 1980s should be the book that pushes Koestenbaum off that cusp and truly into the public eye.

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