Many who hung around Warhol’s studio, the Factory, were cultural space-debris. It was a dark garden of personalities and stories. They religiously orbited around Andy.

His only subject was detachment: the condition of being a spectator, dealing hands-off with the world, through the filter of photography.


Although real talent was thin and scattered in this tiny universe, it surfaced in music, with figures like Lou Reed and John Cale. Many of today's groups are the offspring of Warhol’s Velvets. But most of the cast of characters and groupies who filled the Factory, left almost nothing of interest behind.

Warhol called them all “Superstars”. If they actually possessed talent, discipline, or stamina, they would not have needed Andy.

If he withdrew his gaze, his carefully allotted permission or recognition, some felt that they would cease to exist. Raised as a dirt poor Polish Catholic, Warhol offered them absolution, the gaze of the blank mirror that refused all judgment.

For most audiences, Warhol’s films were usually boring and alienating. To others, it was cutting edge art. In this way, the Factory resembled a cult sect. In it, the rituals showed that they were hungry for approval and forgiveness.

Inspired by the examples of Dali and writer Truman Capote, Andy went after publicity with the single-mindedness of a shark feeding frenzy.


Aided by social engineers, the media was used to construct a parallel universe in which critical thinking was replaced by the new tyranny of the “interesting". Its rules had to do with the rapid shift of style and image, and selling the assumption that all civilized life was discontinuous, and worth only a short attention span. 

Diligent and frigid, Warhol had both to a striking degree. He was not a “hot” artist, a man mastered by a particular vision and anxious to impose it on the world. He understood the tough 'art world'. He knew packaging, and mass produced his art in 'limited number' runs.

Diligent and frigid, Warhol had both to a striking degree. He was not a “hot” artist, a man mastered by a particular vision and anxious to impose it on the world. He understood the tough 'art world'. He knew packaging, and mass produced his art in 'limited number' runs.

With the 1977 opening of Studio 54 , his Interview Magazine found its “new” Factory, its spiritual home. It became a kind of marionette theater in print, with the same figures month after month, doing a few twirls, sucking or snorting something. The magazine was primarily a social-climbing device for Andy and his staff. And it worked. 

It was no longer necessary for an artist to act crazy. Other people could act crazy for you, and that was what Warhol’s Factory and Studio 54 were all about. By the end of the 70s craziness was becoming normal, it no longer suggested uniqueness.

Warhol’s bland, ice cube translucency was much more intriguing. His works and legend live on.