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Warhol’s Bleak Prophecy (theatlantic.com)
93 points by well_i_never on Dec 10, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 23 comments

Not mentioned at all in this article: Warhol was a devoted Catholic his entire life.

"He attended Mass almost daily. Other days he would just slip into St Vincent Ferrer on Lexington Avenue, drop into the back pew and pray. He spent his Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters volunteering at a soup kitchen, and befriended the homeless and poor whom he served. He put his nephew through seminary. Though openly gay, he endeavoured to remain celibate throughout his life."

At Warhol's funeral a friend spoke of Warhol’s “secret piety”, which “inevitably changes our perception of an artist who fooled the world into believing his only obsessions were money, fame and glamour, and that he was cool to the point of callousness. Never take Andy at face value.”


I never knew that. A while back I was surprised to find out that Marshall McLuhan, the media theorist and pop-intellectual who was big in the late 60s and 70s was also a devout Catholic. McLuhan's ruminations into how the internet or what he called "peer to peer electronic media" would affect us socially are more insightful than anything anyone is saying today, though at the time it was largely a bunch of cryptic gobbledeygook, because at the time only naive techno-utopians had any real concept of the internet, and we're only able to predict the upsides.

His faith background plays out more explicitly in his doctoral thesis; several ideas therein were precursors to his later-popularized notions:


Short review summarizing the work: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Phil_Rose/publication/3...

McLuhan's on the new media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeDnPP6ntic (starts at 2.45)

Also little known fact I was schooled on recently while working on a film with a guy who was close friends with Warhol and was at a lot of silver factory parties... Warhol never did drugs! He would sit in the back and watch the crowd but rarely interact. I was severely reprimanded for suggesting Warhol did drugs in that conversation.

He took prescription speed daily. And supposedly was sneaky about taking other drugs. So yes, he mostly didn't openly participate in the drug scene. But it's less clear what he did privately.


In the movie Take Your Pills, they mention Warhol taking a drug similar to Adderall. Wikipedia says it was Obetrol[1]. As an amphetamine I imagine it had a profound effect on him and his art.

Though it is fascinating that he never participated in parties. That is totally not the narrative I bought into with him. How good at fooling us he was.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obetrol

He was always observing.

Someone you would refer to as boring and creepy

Also, very intelligent, imaginative, talented, and creative. But still, I admit, creepy.

I'm reminded of Marilyn Manson, née Brian Hugh Warner. Not to compare them, of course. But according to his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, he was also "boring and creepy" as a child. But somehow he made it work. As did Warhol, on a much larger scale.

It is easier to focus on the negative qualities of the outsiders, thanks for reigning me back into the light.

And often with a camera ;)

Wow that is shocking. Had no idea. Warhol is a legend and devout catholic is the last thing most people would have imagined him to be. Isn't it amazing how sometimes the image portrayed by the media, news and even the artist himself is the polar opposite to reality. If you took a survey, I wouldn't be surprised if 9 out of 10 people said they though warhol was atheist.

This is only partially true; he was devoutly Catholic, but he also had numerous male sexual partners.

Mel Gibson cheated on his wife. Still pretty Catholic!

No doubt he was an extremely serious and devout Catholic. That's why I want to push back against 'catholicherald' propaganda that being a good Catholic requires you to either heterosexual or celibate.

IMO it is a peculiar sort of Americanization that Catholic = Catholic Saint.

And so what? The former doesn't exclude the latter.

Did anybody else get a "looks like you are offline" error message when trying to access the article?

What’s a good introduction to Warhol?

Look around for an exhibition of his work. It can make a big difference to see his prints and paintings at full size and in person. Also, he made so many different kinds of work that are so different than the iconic images that he’s most known for. (Silver Clouds is a personal fav.)

I loved reading his Diaries.

tl;dr - "Neoliberalism is simply Warholism as a theory of governance."

But do read it. Searching for "prophecy" will bring no joy.

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