The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

Source: Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (London: Penguin, 2007 – org. pub. 1975), p. 91

Text: Before I was shot I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in the movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen to you in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television – you don’t feel anything.

Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television. When you’re really really involved with something, you’re usually thinking about something else. When something’s happening, you fantasize about other things. When I woke up somewhere – I didn’t know it was at the hospital and that Bobby Kennedy had been shot the day after I was – I heard fantasy words about thousands of people being in St. Patrick’s Cathedral praying and carrying on, and then I heard the word “Kennedy” and that brought me back to the television world again because then I realized, well, here I was, in pain.

Comments: Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an American artist and filmmaker. He was shot and seriously wounded by radical feminist Valerie Solanas on 3 June 1968, at his studio. The incident was later filmed as I Shot Andy Warhol (USA 1996 d. Mary Harron). The Philosophy of Andy Warhol is a random selection of thoughts and memoir edited from telephone conversations between Warhol and editor Pat Hackett.