The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
(From A to B and Back Again)
- The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) is a collection of Warhol's philosophies on life.
- Some chapters and sections were written by Warhol himself. Others were transcribed by his friends from Warhol’s spoken word.
- The topics covered in the book include: Love (Puberty, Prime, and Senility), Beauty, Fame, Work, Time, Death, Economics, Atmosphere, Success, Art, Titles, The Tingle, and Underwear Power
- From the New York Times review:
- “Warhol speaks! High time too. No contemporary artist has had more, or more contradictory, interpreters. Prophet or observer, pernicious corrupter or satiric reformer, prescient or a put‐on? Our expectation is that at last Warhol will interpret himself to us…."
- "And Warhol poses the quintessential philosophical question: What is image and what is real? Can we answer? I remember reading somewhere that almost half of the people polled after a 1972 moon walk did not believe in the man on the moon. They thought they were watching a 'television simulation.' We have seen too many simulations, and the emotional signposts that once marked the road to truth have been obliterated. Is this apocalyptic vision of vacancy confined to one artist who has made of himself a machine for all seasons? The radical esthetic and social changes of the sixties were observed first in microcosm at Warhol's Factory. What's happening in the seventies? Read this book, then fill in Andy's blanks. Some people say California is the bellwether of America. I'd say Andy Warhol."
- The Philosophy includes an early example of Warhol’s philosophy of “A and B”, otherwise known as A/B.
- What is A/B?
- A/B is a methodology with which Warhol described his interactions with other people.
- Warhol is A
- B is a nameless other
- B could by any individual
- It could be an aspect of Warhol himself
- It could be a made-up personality for Warhol to argue against
- Also from the Times review:
- "The title presumably refers to the dialogues between Andy (A) and another person (B). The B's, however, are interchangeable, drawn from the entourage at the Factory. 'B is anybody and I'm nobody,' Andy explains. B is also frequently boring, resorting to the old lexicon of Pop: repetition, tastelessness, vulgarity. The Chapter 14 monologue in which B compulsively cleans her apartment, then herself, and then masturbates with a vibrator, is so reminiscent of 'The Chelsea Girls' and passages from a, Warhol's tedious tape recorded 'novel,' that it's downright old ‐ fashioned. Warhol's long‐entrenched habit of stamping his imprimatur on the work of others makes it difficult to separate B from A. It's pity. A's a better grade.”
- What is A/B?