I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews

I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews by Kenneth Goldsmith

Book: I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews by Kenneth Goldsmith Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kenneth Goldsmith
seriously as an artist: I just hadn’t thought about it. I don’t know how they consider me in print, though.
    I don’t paint any more, I gave it up about a year ago and just do movies now. I could do two things at the same time but movies are more exciting. Painting was just a phase I went through. But I’m doing some floating sculpture now: silver rectangles that I blow up and that float. Not like Alexander Calder mobiles, these don’t touch anything, they just float free. They just had a retrospective exhibition of my work that they made me go to and it was fun: the people crowded in so much to see me or my paintings that they had to take the pictures off the walls before they could get us out. They were very enthusiastic, I guess. I don’t feel I’m representing the main sex symbols of our time in some of my pictures, such as Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor, I just see Monroe as just another person. As for whether it’s symbolical to paint Monroe in such violent colors: it’s beauty, and she’s beautiful and if something’s beautiful, it’s pretty colors, that’s all. Or something. The Monroe picture was part of a death series I was doing, of people who had died by different ways. There was no profound reason for doing a death series, no “victims of their time”; there was no reason for doing it at all, just a surface reason. I delight in the world; I get great joy out of it, but I’m not sensuous. I’ve heard it said that my paintings are as much a part of the fashionable world as clothes and cars: I guess it’s starting that way and soon all the fashionable things will all be the same: this is only the beginning, it’ll get better and everything will be useful decoration. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being fashionable or successful; as for me being successful, well . . . uhhh . . . it just gives you something to do, you know. For instance, I’m trying to do a business here at the Factory and a lot of people just come up and sit around and do nothing, I just can’t have that, because of my work.
    It didn’t take me a long time to become successful, I was doing very well as a commercial artist, in fact, I was doing better there than with the paintings and movies which haven’t done anything. It didn’t surprise me when I made it; it’s just work . . . it’s just work. I never thought about becoming famous, it doesn’t matter . . . I feel exactly the same way now I did before . . . I’m not the exhibitionist the articles try to make me out as but I’m not that much of a hard-working man, either: it looks like I’m working harder than I am here because all the paintings are copied from my one original by my assistants, like a factory would do it, because we’re turning out a painting every day and a sculpture every day and a movie every day. Several people could do the work that I do just as well because it’s very simple to do: the pattern’s right there. After all, there’re a lot of painters and draughtsmen who just paint and draw a little and give it to someone else to finish. There’re five Pop artists who are all doing the same kind of work but in different directions: Pm one, Tom Wesselman, whose work I admire very much, is another. I don’t regard myself as the leader of Pop Art or a better painter than the others.
    I never wanted to be a painter; I wanted to be a tap-dancer. I don’t even know if Pm an example of the new trend in American art because there’s so much being done here and it’s so good and so great here, it’s hard to tell where the trend is. I don’t think Pm looked up to by a large segment of young people, though kids seem to like my work, but Pm not their leader, or anything like that. I think that when I and my assistants attract a lot of attention wherever we go it’s because my assistants look so great and it’s them that the people are really staring at, but I don’t think I’m the cause of the excitement.
    We make films and

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