Andy Warhol

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Warhol, photographed by Steve Wood, 1981.
Born August 6, 1928(1928-08-06)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died February 22, 1987(1987-02-22) (aged 58)
New York City, New York, US
Web UbuWeb Film, UbuWeb Sound, Aaaaarg, Wikipedia

Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola; 1928–1987) was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in pop art.


Beginning with the 5-hour-and-21-minute Sleep (1963), Warhol made hundreds of films between 1963 and 1968. Following his near-fatal shooting by Valerie Solanas, Warhol shifted into the role of producer with Flesh (1968–1969), directed by his associate, Paul Morrissey. Generally speaking, Warhol’s films interrogate cinematic conventions. For instance, instead of the shot or frame, Warhol used the film roll (whose length was determined by Kodak) as the basic unit of his cinema. He also projected his early films without sound as well as the silent Screen Tests (1964–1966) at 16 fps, a slower speed than the standard 24 fps. Warhol’s films can be broken down into several different phases or periods, including works created with different collaborators. His early films, such as Sleep, Eat (1964), Blow Job (1964), and Empire (1964), are notorious for being excessively “minimal.” He later switched to shooting in synchronous sound, first using scenarios written by playwright Ronald Tavel, and then later with the involvement of Chuck Wein and Paul Morrissey. Warhol also made sound portraits (including biopics), including 472 cinematic portraits or Screen Tests. These were short, 100-foot long film portraits of artists, celebrities, and ordinary people who gravitated to his infamous art studio known as the Factory. Warhol’s “middle period” experimented with expanded cinema and utilizing multiple screens. Warhol called these multimedia events “the Exploding Plastic Inevitable,” which involved films, dancing, light shows, theater, and music by the Velvet Underground. This period culminated in the release of Warhol’s most commercially successful film, The Chelsea Girls (1966), which became the epic of the underground cinema. In 1967, Warhol began making sexploitation films at the bequest of the owner of the Hudson Theater in Midtown Manhattan, where his earlier My Hustler (1965) had been a box office success. Many of Warhol’s films, most notably Lonesome Cowboys (1967–1968) and Blue Movie (1968), ran into censorship problems. Warhol also worked in video and television. [1]


Including the Screen Tests, Warhol made well over 300 movies between 1963 and the late 1970s. 16mm prints of films from the pre-Paul Morrissey era are available for rental through MoMA's Circulating Film and Video Library which helpfully provides PDFs of titles, durations, and rental fees for the United States and Canada and other countries. The Screen Tests are distributed on twenty-eight different reels, each containing ten tests.

  • Sleep, with John Giorno, 1963
  • Kiss, 1963
  • Eat, with Robert Indiana, 1964

Films about Warhol on UbuWeb.


  • with Gerard Malanga, Screen Tests, New York: Kulchur, 1967, 115 pp.


  • I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, ed. Kenneth Goldsmith, New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004.
    • Interviews mit Andy Warhol, intro. Klaus Theweleit, trans. Susanne Höbel, Kippenheim: Liebig, 2005, 381 pp. (German)
    • Entretiens: 1962-1987, trans. Alain Cueff, Paris: Bernard Grasset, 2006, 405 pp. (French)
    • Będę twoim lustrem: wywiady z Warholem, trans. Marcin Zawada, Warsaw: Twój Styl, 2006, 391 pp. (Polish)
    • Wo jiang shi ni de jing zi: An diWo huo er fang tan jing xuan, Beijing: San lian shu dian, 2007, 463 pp. (Chinese)
    • Entrevistas: 1962-1987: treinta y siete entrevistas con el maestro del pop, intro. Reva Wolf, afterw. Wayne Koestenbaum, trans. Ferran Esteve, Barcelona: Blackie Books, 2010, 559 pp. (Spanish)