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Andy Warhol

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  213 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The sixties were the "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll" era, and Andy Warhol was its cultural icon. Painter, filmmaker, photographer, philosopher, Warhol was both celebrity and celebrant, the man who put the "pop" in art. His studio, The Factory, where his free-spirited cast of "superstars" mingled with the rich and famous, was ground zero for the explosions that rocked Ameri ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 296 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Thorndike Press
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(showing 1-30 of 419)
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Greg Z
Jun 28, 2016 Greg Z rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Koestenbaum writes of Warhol's "piss paintings: "Jackson Pollack's drips, which had a urinary or seminal reference, turn queer when Andy repeats them, as if he were laying a metaphoric hand on his predecessor's "paintbrush," Warhol's... joking euphemism for the micturating genitals." This imaginatively written work reminds me of Marcia Davenport's "Mozart": neither can strictly be called "biographies", but there is no "life interpretation" sections at libraries. Biointerpretation? Biofiction? Wh ...more
Jun 25, 2007 Ami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have retained one sentence from this bio that I use all the time. It's something like, "De Kooning and the abstract expressionist were always getting drunk and vomiting and punching one another in the face. Andy was very much a response to that whole way of art."
M Pau
Mar 28, 2016 M Pau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives you an insight to Andy's life. From his birth to the end of his days and all the in between troubled, artistic, talented life.

"He was a maker, in love with productivity"
I have read a lot of books about Andy Warhol both ones that he has authored and books written by others. This one is different because the author never met him and this book was about the interpretation of his art. According to the author most of Andy's art was sexually motivated, and I agree he loved to provoke and expose. But the book was a bit one-note.
I was listening to this book on audio and as I went through a drive-thru window I left it going while I completed my transaction and the woma
Sep 26, 2015 Kay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't like this book. It was not what it said on the cover - it was not a biography. Its details were sketchy at best. There was a major consideration of AW's films (none of which I've seen) but very little explanation of how AW came to fame or really how he developed. It just seemed to be a riff on Andy being voyeuristic and surrounded by others taking drugs. Other than screen prints of already iconic figures, I got no impression of how much work AW has left for posterity and whether ...more
May 09, 2016 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
It reads like a biography of Warhol by someone who really just wants to write a monograph about Warhol's films. Kostenbaum treats the actual details and narrative of Warhol's life as either an inconvenience to dispense with or as a skeleton for his attempts at art analysis and criticism. It doesn't help that Koestenbaun, who works himself into knots finding nice things to say about some of Warhol's more nakedly commercial work and creative failures, completely shrugs off the Velvet Underground: ...more
Wish I'd taken more pictures of passages I liked in this book, which I'm writing notes on 5 months after reading it (having a goodreads for book notes was supposed to be about preventing this mem loss) because there were a lot of them, but here is the only one I have:

"...Julia lies on her side, in bed. Andy says, 'Mom?' She looks up and says, 'What?' Then the scene ends. This is their final recorded encounter: her last word to Andy, as far as his art knows, is 'What?' My impression, from listen
Dec 26, 2015 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This would be better described as a Warhol Filmography than a biography. Also, there were several instances, the most glaring being Warhol and The Velvet Underground, in which the author writes, "this is beyond my area of knowledge" and proceeds to skip over that section of Warhol's life...what the what?!? Any good biographer would know to research. Further, any good editor would not let that stand.
Jun 19, 2015 Roxanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i never knew much about Andy Warhol but I thought he was kind of ahead of his time and very edgy in his art. He mainly created portraits of the rich and the famous. He will have a lasting effect on the world of counterculture art.
May 28, 2014 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Not a whole lot I didn't know about one of my favorite artists, but always nice to meet another fan.
May 09, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want a straight ahead biography of Warhol, then this probably isn't the best bet, but if you are looking for insight into Warhol as both a person and a personality (and some really great, almost poetic writing) then definitely check this out.
Sara Habein
May 13, 2015 Sara Habein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
Like other reviews have said, this has a lot more theory than your standard biography, and perhaps there are ones that are more thorough with the facts, but this is still a good introduction to Warhol's life and work.
Jun 05, 2013 Mikey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, art
I really give it 3 1/2 stars, but I'm a fan of Drella so I bumped it up. Overall a good start to finish of his life, but I felt it was bogged down with numerous names and dates and lacked a certain emotional dimension. Very good analysis and description of his prolific film career and read like a university lecture in parts. I learned a few things and have a greater understanding and appreciation for his work. Time to give The Velvet Underground and Nico's catalog another listen, especially the ...more
Mar 10, 2008 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Warhol aficionados, people who've read Victor Bockris' Warhol biography
Shelves: andy-warhol
Koestenbaum veers wildly from incredible insight on Warhol's life, work, and career to tedious intellectual wankery -- often two or three times in the course of a page. Sometimes it's fascinating, and sometimes you can do nothing but roll your eyes.

Definitely worth reading, but I'd highly recommend reading Bockris' Warhol bio first. That one supplies the facts; this one emphasizes theory (and Koestenbaum's personal reaction to Warhol). Don't turn to this first as a comprehensive (or even brief
Feb 01, 2008 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wayne Koestenbaum wrote the best biography on Andy Warhol. I think this maybe the case because he is writing from a 'gay' angle, and Warhol if nothing else is the ultimate 'gay' artist. Koestenbaum has a great understanding of the underground gay scene of NYC sixties and life in the late 50's as well. Even if you don't like Warhol (seems like an ok guy) or his work (here and there), the reader can capture a particular scene which I think is super important for the aesthetics that was produced in ...more
Michael Armijo
Nov 02, 2010 Michael Armijo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...about a "repetitive" artist.

Frankly, I didn't know very much about Andy Warhol until I read this book. I learned how sexual and abstract (to use one of his favorite words) he really was. The book is a nice overview. It makes me want to learn more about him and see more of his work. There is a wonderful source reference at the end of the book for anyone who may want to continue research and study of WARHOL. He definitely made a mark in the art world for the 20th Century. ....
Mar 26, 2009 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andy... what a guy. Koestenbaum gives a fascinating, impressionistic view of Warhol unlike say Victor Bockris book which is more straight (no pun intended) biography. But he lived thorugh much of Warhol's heyday so his book is well worth reading if you want to know who all the characters are that went throught he revolving doors or Warhol's 'Factory".
Eric Dutch
Koestenbaum leaves his best til last, and the final chapter leaves you with chills. The body of the text lacked the story telling hallmarks of a good bio, but hey, its not a movie script. I'm happy to have read up on Warhol still. He's done himself well to write up on such a big influence here, and it focuses more on the film side.
Apr 19, 2010 Mel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes art criticism is more ridiculous than the art world itself. Frankly a lot of the interpretation I simply disagreed with. Soup cans as a comment on commercialism and mass production yes. But the author's obsession with Warhol's body seems overwraught for a book aimed at the general reader.
Allison C. McCulloch
Really didn't need to know about Andy Warhol's personal life to that degree. But there was lots of information that was great. I am an Andy Warhol fan and still learned something new.
Jun 25, 2010 Iniville rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Warhol's life and works certainly spurred lots of analysis. And over-analysis. But this book left me wanting to read more. I wish I could explain why.
I enjoyed the idea of it, and some of the language is really beautiful. But at times it's also too much, and I feel like he's reaching.
Aug 01, 2012 Brisbride13 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wasnt a fan of this book at all. Found the writing boring! Im so uninspired I have no real idea of what else to say.
Jul 12, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Felt like this was more of a critique and evaluation of Andy's works rather than a biography of his life.
Feb 17, 2008 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So bad its good. Yeah, definitely so bad its good.
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In addition to Hotel Theory (Soft Skull, 2007), Wayne Koestenbaum has published five books of nonfiction prose: Andy Warhol, Cleavage, Jackie Under My Skin, The Queens Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist), and Double Talk. He has also published a novel, Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes, and five books of poetry: Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Model Homes, The Milk of Inquiry, Rhapso ...more
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