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Andy Warhol: Artist and Socialite

Andy Warhol Signing His book 'Exposures.' Over 1000 fans showed up for his exhibition.

Andy Warhol Signing His book 'Exposures.' Over 1000 fans showed up for his exhibition.

Rumor had it that the lines to see Andy Warhol stretched to U.S. 1. People pushed and shoved to get a glimpse of ‘the master of modern art.’ The Lowe was hosting the world premiere of Warhol’s “Ten Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century” and the public was invited. Inside the Lowe, Andy Warhol patiently sat autographing everything from Campbell’s soup cans to posters to books. Someone even brought the hood of their Volkswagen in hopes of having the only yellow bug with the Warhol signature. Warhol was so cordial, he even autographed a girl’s tank top (she was wearing it at the time). The Andy Warhol craze had set in.

“Please can you sign this ‘To Jean, From Andy Warhol’,” an ecstatic young woman said.

“To Jean, J-E-A-N,” repeated her husband.

“Oh, thank you, I’m going to frame this!” Jean said in gratitude. And the lines seemed endless.

“Back it up, please, Mr. Warhol will get to everybody. Back it up, everybody!” the Lowe security yelled.

The 52-year-old genius didn’t seem annoyed at his multitude of fans. In his straight-legged jeans, pastel pink shirt, black coat, striped tie and cowboy boots, he looked as passive as a man alone on an island. What did the crows come to see- the ten portraits or the man himself? Did they expect the eccentric white-haired artist right out of Studio 54? Or were these Miami residents true pop art fans? While finishing the last of his autographs, Warhol answered a few questions for the Hurricane.

Lourdes Moller: How did you get the idea for the 10 portraits?

Andy Warhol: Actually, it was Ron Felddman’s idea. (Ron Feldman, his personal friend, stood beside Warhol telling him what names to dedicate his autographs to.)

L.M.: Are you presently working on another project?

A.W.: Well, yeah, we’re working on a movie called “Trashier.” It’s an update of our old movie called “Trash.”

L.M.: Which movie star have you preferred photographing?

A.W.: Uh, my favorite is actually Farrah Fawcett.

L.M.: What did you think of the opening at the Lowe?

A.W.: Well, this is the biggest opening I’ve ever gone to. The rooms [at the Lowe]are so beautiful.

L.M.: I read somewhere this series was going to Paris.

A.W.: It might, I guess it will go to Paris. It’s on tour. But, I don’t know, we go to so many different cities, they never tell me where we go next. Have you ever been to Paris?

L.M.: Not yet. I plan to this summer.

A.W.: It’s great.

L.M.: I can imagine. Do you like living in New York?

A.W.: Oh yeah, I love living in New York… but I wished I’d been to school here. This would have been the best place for me.

L.M.: The University of Miami?

A.W.: Yeah, well we came down and gave a lecture here in the 60s, and I’ve liked it since then.

L.M.: What do you think the future of pop art will be?

A.W.: Well, I think pop art was finished a long time ago.

L.M.: What do you call what you are doing now?

A.W.: Ah, just keeping busy.

L.M.: Pretty productive for just keeping busy. What gave you the idea for the supermarket series… the Brillo Pad, etc.?

A.W.: Well, they were things I used everyday. So, it wasn’t anything imaginative. It was something I knew well.

L.M.: And I suppose you’re very tired of doing interviews and signing autographs.

A.W.: Well, I’m never tired of doing interviews. I just never have interesting things to say like, uh, some people do.

Warhol’s art is interesting enough and this ‘man of few words’ dispelled all my preconceived notions of his being a rudely eccentric man. Warhol seems to be a quiet and modest artist. And nice enough to give an aspiring journalist a break.

‘Andy Warhol,’ the man, is a contradiction. In person, he expressed himself like a timid high school boy. Yet, in his book, Andy Warhol’s Exposures, he can’t seem to hold back from ‘exposing’ every thought and piece of gossip he can remember about the jet set crowd he photographs. In person, Warhol looks like a Norman Rockwell painting. In Exposures, he’s the social butterfly. Warhol says he has a “social disease.” He chit-chats in Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris garden. A routine night included catching a cocktail party, going to a couple of dinners, stopping off at Le Club, Regine’s or Xenon’s, and ending up at Studio 54. Bet he never has problems with Steve Rubell.

He loves openings. “I will go to the opening of anything, including a toilet seat,” Warhol once said. Warhol captures glamorous people doing glamorous things. Who else could capture Dianne Von Fustenberg, the Marques de Partago and Bianca Jagger in one snapshop? The name dropping could go on and on. Andy Warhol, the artist, is exceedingly versatile. He can be as simple as Heinz ketchup or as dignified as Golda Mier. Some of his photographs are ‘scandalous,’ some funny, some strange. But all of them are fun.

And maybe that is what Miami residents came to see… the artist who takes his work so seriously, yet chooses such light subject matters as Liza Minnelli fresh from a shower.

Lourdes Moller graduated from UM in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts. She was the entertainment editor for The Miami Hurricane in 1980.

by Lourdes Moller

September 9, 1980


Rumor had it that the lines to see Andy Warhol stretched to U.S. 1. People pushed and shoved to get a glimpse of ‘the master of modern art.’ The Lowe was hosting the world premiere of Warhol’s “Ten Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century” and the public was invited. Inside the Lowe, Andy Warhol patiently sat autographing everything from Campbell’s soup cans to posters to books. Someone even brought the hood of their Volkswagen in hopes of having the only yellow bug with the Warhol signature. Warhol was so cordial, he even autographed a girl’s tank top (she was wearing it at the time). The Andy Warhol craze had set in.

“Please can you sign this ‘To Jean, From Andy Warhol’,” an ecstatic young woman said.

“To Jean, J-E-A-N,” repeated her husband.

“Oh, thank you, I’m going to frame this!” Jean said in gratitude. And the lines seemed endless.

“Back it up, please, Mr. Warhol will get to everybody. Back it up, everybody!” the Lowe security yelled.

The 52-year-old genius didn’t seem annoyed at his multitude of fans. In his straight-legged jeans, pastel pink shirt, black coat, striped tie and cowboy boots, he looked as passive as a man alone on an island. What did the crows come to see- the ten portraits or the man himself? Did they expect the eccentric white-haired artist right out of Studio 54? Or were these Miami residents true pop art fans? While finishing the last of his autographs, Warhol answered a few questions for the Hurricane.

Lourdes Moller: How did you get the idea for the 10 portraits?

Andy Warhol: Actually, it was Ron Felddman’s idea. (Ron Feldman, his personal friend, stood beside Warhol telling him what names to dedicate his autographs to.)

L.M.: Are you presently working on another project?

A.W.: Well, yeah, we’re working on a movie called “Trashier.” It’s an update of our old movie called “Trash.”

L.M.: Which movie star have you preferred photographing?

A.W.: Uh, my favorite is actually Farrah Fawcett.

L.M.: What did you think of the opening at the Lowe?

A.W.: Well, this is the biggest opening I’ve ever gone to. The rooms [at the Lowe]are so beautiful.

L.M.: I read somewhere this series was going to Paris.

A.W.: It might, I guess it will go to Paris. It’s on tour. But, I don’t know, we go to so many different cities, they never tell me where we go next. Have you ever been to Paris?

L.M.: Not yet. I plan to this summer.

A.W.: It’s great.

L.M.: I can imagine. Do you like living in New York?

A.W.: Oh yeah, I love living in New York… but I wished I’d been to school here. This would have been the best place for me.

L.M.: The University of Miami?

A.W.: Yeah, well we came down and gave a lecture here in the 60s, and I’ve liked it since then.

L.M.: What do you think the future of pop art will be?

A.W.: Well, I think pop art was finished a long time ago.

L.M.: What do you call what you are doing now?

A.W.: Ah, just keeping busy.

L.M.: Pretty productive for just keeping busy. What gave you the idea for the supermarket series… the Brillo Pad, etc.?

A.W.: Well, they were things I used everyday. So, it wasn’t anything imaginative. It was something I knew well.

L.M.: And I suppose you’re very tired of doing interviews and signing autographs.

A.W.: Well, I’m never tired of doing interviews. I just never have interesting things to say like, uh, some people do.

Warhol’s art is interesting enough and this ‘man of few words’ dispelled all my preconceived notions of his being a rudely eccentric man. Warhol seems to be a quiet and modest artist. And nice enough to give an aspiring journalist a break.

‘Andy Warhol,’ the man, is a contradiction. In person, he expressed himself like a timid high school boy. Yet, in his book, Andy Warhol’s Exposures, he can’t seem to hold back from ‘exposing’ every thought and piece of gossip he can remember about the jet set crowd he photographs. In person, Warhol looks like a Norman Rockwell painting. In Exposures, he’s the social butterfly. Warhol says he has a “social disease.” He chit-chats in Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris garden. A routine night included catching a cocktail party, going to a couple of dinners, stopping off at Le Club, Regine’s or Xenon’s, and ending up at Studio 54. Bet he never has problems with Steve Rubell.

He loves openings. “I will go to the opening of anything, including a toilet seat,” Warhol once said. Warhol captures glamorous people doing glamorous things. Who else could capture Dianne Von Fustenberg, the Marques de Partago and Bianca Jagger in one snapshop? The name dropping could go on and on. Andy Warhol, the artist, is exceedingly versatile. He can be as simple as Heinz ketchup or as dignified as Golda Mier. Some of his photographs are ‘scandalous,’ some funny, some strange. But all of them are fun.

And maybe that is what Miami residents came to see… the artist who takes his work so seriously, yet chooses such light subject matters as Liza Minnelli fresh from a shower.

Lourdes Moller graduated from UM in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts. She was the entertainment editor for The Miami Hurricane in 1980.

December 2, 2009

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