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Thursday, June 9, 2011

How did Andy Warhol die?


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Why: On Thought Catalog, "5 Celebrities Who Would've Been Perfect for the Internet" by my new favorite writer* Ryan O'Connell:
Andy would’ve ruled supreme on the web. He would’ve beat Kim Kardashian in Twitter followers, and a tweet as simple as “i like oranges” would’ve gotten, like, a thousand retweets. He would love Twitpics. There’d be photos of Viva slumped over in the corner of the Factory in a heroin daze with the caption: “viva goes zzzzz.” His Facebook fan page would have so many “like”s but the comments would be terrible. “Andy is the worst. I wish he would just die!” or “he’s sO UGlY N siCk ewwww. whatAfAG!” When he was shot by Valerie Solanas though, there would’ve been an outpour of digital love. Fans would write, “Hang in there, Andy!” and “Say hi to Edie in heaven for me…” And like the freak that he is, he would’ve tweeted from his hospital bed something like, “someone shot me today and it was brilliant….” Ugh, now that I’m thinking about it, maybe Andy would’ve just had the most annoying internet presence in the world.
*4srs, I've read like 30 of his essays in the last 48 hours.

Answer
: From complications after a gall bladder surgery!
Late in his life, Warhol suffered chronic gall bladder problems. His pain intensified in January 1987 during a trip to Italy. On February 20, 1987 he was admitted to New York Hospital. The next morning his gall bladder was successfully removed and Warhol seemed to be recovering well—watching television and talking on the telephone. During that night, however, complications arose which resulted in sudden cardiac arrest. Warhol was pronounced dead at 6:31 am on Sunday, February 22, 1987. He was 58 years old.
That Solanas / shooting thing was just a blip. She was a super radical feminist in the 60s:

In 1966, she wrote a play titled Up Your Ass about a man-hating prostitute and a panhandler. In 1967, she encountered Andy Warhol outside his studio, The Factory, and asked him to produce her play. Intrigued by the title, he accepted the script for review. According to Factory lore, Warhol, whose films were often shut down by the police for obscenity, thought the script was so pornographic that it must be a police trap. He never returned it to Solanas. The script was then lost, not to be found until after Warhol's death, in the bottom of one of his lighting trunks.

Later that year, Solanas began to telephone Warhol, demanding he return the script of Up Your Ass. When Warhol admitted he had lost it, she began demanding money as payment. Warhol ignored these demands but offered her a role in I, a Man. In his book Popism: The Warhol Sixties, Warhol wrote that before she shot him, he thought Solanas was an interesting and funny person, but that her constant demands for attention made her difficult to deal with and ultimately drove him away.

Warhol did give Solanas a role in a scene in his film I, a Man (1968–1969).

On June 3, 1968, she arrived at The Factory and waited for Warhol in the lobby area. When he arrived with friends, she produced a handgun and shot at Warhol 3 times, hitting him once in the chest. She then shot art critic Mario Amaya and also tried to shoot Warhol's manager, Fred Hughes, but her gun jammed as the elevator arrived. Hughes suggested she take it and she did, leaving the Factory. Warhol barely survived; he never fully recovered and for the rest of his life wore a corset to prevent his injuries from worsening.

Later that same day, Solanas turned herself in to a NYPD officer passing by her on the street where she produced the gun and told him about the shooting. She made statements to the arresting officer and at the arraignment hearing that Warhol had "too much control" over her and that Warhol was planning to steal her work. Pleading guilty, she received a three-year sentence in a psychiatric hospital. Warhol refused to testify against her. For the rest of his life, Warhol lived in fear that Solanas would attack him again.

Source: Warhol.org

The More You Know: Andy Warhol's weird white hair was a wig, y'all.

In the mid-1950s Warhol began wearing a hairpiece, which matched his natural dark brown hair color.

In the mid-1960s he supposedly spray-painted his wig silver. Later that decade he adopted the wig that became his permanent look; it was brown in back with shades of blonde on the front and sides.

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