Handle: himself aka Andy Warhol
Country: United States
Warhol died in New York City at 6:32 am on February 22, 1987. According to news reports, he had been making good recovery from a routine gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital before dying in his sleep from a sudden post-operative cardiac arrhythmia. Prior to his diagnosis and operation, Warhol delayed having his recurring gallbladder problems checked, as he was afraid to enter hospitals and see doctors. His family sued the hospital for inadequate care, saying that the arrhythmia was caused by improper care and water intoxication. The malpractice case was quickly settled out of court; Warhol’s family received an undisclosed sum of money.
Warhol’s body was taken back to Pittsburgh by his brothers for burial. The wake was at Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home and was an open-coffin ceremony. The coffin was a solid bronze casket with gold plated rails and white upholstery. Warhol was dressed in a black cashmere suit, a paisley tie, a platinum wig, and sunglasses. He was posed holding a small prayer book and a red rose. The funeral liturgy was held at the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church on Pittsburgh’s North Side. The eulogy was given by Monsignor Peter Tay. Yoko Ono and John Richardson were speakers. The coffin was covered with white roses and asparagus ferns. After the liturgy, the coffin was driven to St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a south suburb of Pittsburgh.
At the grave, the priest said a brief prayer and sprinkled holy water on the casket. Before the coffin was lowered, Paige Powell dropped a copy of Interview magazine, an Interview T-shirt, and a bottle of the Estee Lauder perfume “Beautiful” into the grave. Warhol was buried next to his mother and father. A memorial service was held in Manhattan for Warhol on April 1, 1987, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York.
Andy Warhol’s Amiga art confirms him as a true hero for our digital age
Tech detective work on some old computer disks has restored work by the artist who was our greatest visual prophet
Andy Warhol computer self-portrait
Andy2, 1985, a self-portrait created by Andy Warhol on the Amiga and recently retrieved from an Amiga computer floppy disk. Photograph: Reuters
It had to happen. Andy Warhol’s experiments in digital art have been rediscovered. Of course they have – how could the most prophetic artist of the 20th century have missed out on the birth struggles of the 21st?
Warhol wrote the blueprint for our time. He knew that everyone was going to be famous for 15 minutes and that, as a consequence, fame would melt into banality. He could see that art would become as easy to make as taking a Polaroid, that portraiture would give way to the democracy of the selfie – as he demonstrated in photo-booth portraits taken as early as the 1960s.
Now it turns out that Warhol was even more prophetic than we thought. He was one of the first artists ever to experiment with computer software.
Thanks to the curiosity of Cory Arcangel – one of today’s most important artists working with digital technologies – a forgotten hoard of Warhol artworks has been rescued from old Amiga disks by students who ingeniously hacked into the defunct software.
The works Warhol created to commission in 1985 to help launch the Amiga 1000 computer are not earth-shattering in themselves. He essentially recreated some of his paintings as digital images.
But the meeting of Andy Warhol and a computer at the dawn of the digital age is hugely suggestive. Warhol, after all, is the man who flirted with being a machine. He wore a metallic silver wig and made paintings on a production line, with assistants silkscreening found photographs onto canvas.
This computer-like style was eerie. Yet it was not the real him. In reality, Andy Warhol was a talented draughtsman, a secret Catholic and a compassionate historian of his times. He pretended to be a machine because that was the best way he found to capture the way the world was changing. From canned soup to instant pictures, Warhol took the pulse of the age as America became a society of consumers and celebrity watchers. He portrayed reality so truly he seemed to invent it – as if one artist could create the celebrity age.
Warhol was a reporter who simply told the truth. Such truth-telling is an act of love. “I’ll be your mirror,” as Warhol’s protege Lou Reed wrote in the Velvet Underground’s tenderest song. Reflecting what you are is not cold, it is passionate. Warhol acted like a machine, but he was all heart.
This makes him a true hero for the digital age. Are we all becoming machines? If so, Andy Warhol is the artist who saw it coming – and who even made computer art, as the lost and found Amiga files reveal. Yet he is also our guide, showing us how to maintain our humanity under the metal wig, how to preserve the ghost in the machine.
Rip Andy, one of the first true Amiga Sceners