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Quotes by Andy Warhol

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Andy Warhol. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola; August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell's Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental films Empire (1964) and Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67).

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Warhol initially pursued a successful career as a commercial illustrator. After exhibiting his work in several galleries in the late 1950s, he began to receive recognition as an influential and controversial artist. His New York studio, The Factory, became a well-known gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons. He promoted a collection of personalities known as Warhol superstars, and is credited with inspiring the widely used expression "15 minutes of fame". In the late 1960s he managed and produced the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founded Interview magazine. He authored numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. He lived openly as a gay man before the gay liberation movement. In June 1968, he was almost killed by radical feminist Valerie Solanas who shot him inside his studio.

After gallbladder surgery, Warhol died of cardiac arrhythmia in February 1987 at the age of 58.

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city of Pittsburgh, which holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives, is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster); his works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold. A 2009 article in The Economist described Warhol as the "bellwether of the art market".

I just do art because I'm ugly and there's nothing else for me to do.

Human beings are born solitary, but everywhere they are in chains -- daisy chains -- of interactivity. Social actions are makeshift forms, often courageous, sometimes ridicilous, always strange.

I think pot should be legal I don't smoke it, but I like the smell of it.

I want to be a machine.

Fantasy love is much better than reality love.

I think the first photograph I did was a ballplayer. It was a way of showing action or something.

I think an artist is anybody who does something well, like if you cook well.

Success is what sells.

Checks aren't money.

It's great not to be a collector.

I was trying to think the other day about what you do now in America if you want to be successful. Before, you were dependable and wore a good suit. Looking around, I guess that today you have to do all the same things but not wear a good suit. I guess that's all it is. Think rich. Look poor.

Everybody must have a fantasy.

I broke something and realized I should break something once a week to remind me how fragile life is.

Just like New Yorkers themselves, the trees in New York city work harder than any others in the world.

Voyeurism is a director's job description. It's an artist's, too.

Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery. People are working every minute. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.

Sometimes the little times you don't think are anything while they're happening turn out to be what marks a whole period of your life.

So many people seem to prefer my silver-screenings of movie stars to the rest of my work. It must be the subject matter that attracts them, because my death and violence paintings are just as good.

I met someone on the street who said wasn't it great that we're going to have a movie star for president, that it was so Pop, and (laughs) when you think about it like that, it is great, it's so American.

I thought that young people had more problems than old people...Then I looked around and saw that everybody who looked young had young problems and that everybody who looked old had old problems.

Business Art is the step that comes after Art.

Pop art is a way of liking things.

When you stop wanting something, you get it.

Pop art is for everyone.

Being in business is the most fascinating kind of art.
Making money is art and working is art, and good business is the best art.

New York restaurants are about selling atmospheres.

Even beauties can be unattractive. If you catch a beauty in the wrong light at the right time, forget it. I believe in low lights and trick mirrors. I believe in plastic surgery.

People in uniform always look so great.

Exposure and attention make a work famous -- the more you talk about it, the more attention it gets, the more validity it achieves.

People sometimes say the way things happen in the movies is unreal, but actually, it's the way things happen to you in life that's unreal.

Money has a certain kind of amnesty.

The mystery was gone but the amazement was just starting.

Bad taste makes the day go by faster.

I like church. It's empty when I go. I walk around. There are so many beautiful Catholic churches in New York.

All photography is Pop, and all photographers are crazy... they feel guilty since they don't have to do very much -- just push a button.

I read an article on me once that described my machine-method of silk-screen copying and painting: 'What a bold and audacious solution, what depths of the man are revealed in this solution!' What does that mean?

I used to drink Coke all the time. It was so good. It gives you a lot of energy.

Free countries are great, because you can actually sit in somebody else's space for a while and pretend you're a part of it. You can sit in the Plaza Hotel and you don't even have to live there. You can just sit and watch the people go by.

Everybody winds up kissing the wrong person goodnight.

You should always have a product that has nothing to do with who you are or what people think about you... so that you never start thinking that your product is you, or your fame or your aura.

The moment you label something, you take a step-I mean, you can never go back again to seeing it unlabelled.

You need to let little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.

I think video is the best market. When the cassette market comes out, if you just do movies that nobody else can do, that'll be the new way.

Business art is the step that comes after Art. I started as a commercial artist, and I want to finish as a business artist.

You can never predict what little things in the way somebody looks or talks or acts will set off peculiar emotional reactions in other people.

I'm really afraid to feel happy because it never lasts.

Employees make the best dates. You don't have to pick them up and they're always tax-deductible.

Don't think about making art, just get it done.

Longer Version:

Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

Actually, I jade very quickly. Once is usually enough. Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it's exciting, and if you do it every day it's exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it's not good any more.

The idea is not to live forever, it is to create something that will.

I admit to having worn suede and leather pants myself for a while, but you just never feel clean, and it's degenerate, anyway, to wear animal skins.... So I went back to bluejeans after my degenerate period.

In some circles where very heavy people think they have very heavy brains, words like charming and clever and pretty are all put-downs; all the lighter things in life, which are the most important things, are put down.

Every song has a memory; every song has the ability to make or break your heart, shut down the heart, and open the eyes. But I'm afraid if you look at a thing long enough; it loses all of its meaning.

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.

Longer Version:

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.

If you're traveling for five years or something like that, you're going somewhere. But five years are being used up, and you don't have to do anything. You just sit on the plane. That might make time go really fast.

You meet rich people and you hang around with them, and one night they've had a few drinks and they say 'I'll buy it!' Then they tell their friends, 'You must have this person's work, darling,' and that's all you need. That's all it takes. Get it?

Love and sex can go together and sex and unlove can go together and love and unsex can go together. But personal love and personal sex is bad.

I can't remember my dreams more than a couple of seconds after I wake up. It's frustrating because sometimes I dream that I'm watching a really good movie.

I think kids should go to high school until they're 30. No, really, because people are staying younger now and there's nothing to do. If you stayed longer, then it would be really great.

Everybody has their own America, and then they have pieces of a fantasy America that they think is out there but they can't see. So the fantasy corners of America seem so atmospheric because you 've pieced them together from scenes in movies and music and lines from books.

I can never get over when you're on the beach how beautiful the sand looks and the water washes it away and straightens it up and the trees and the grass all look great. I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.

When I did my self-portrait, I left all the pimples out because you always should. Pimples are a temporary condition and they don't have anything to do with what you really look like. Always omit the blemishes-they're not part of the good picture you want.

I get so tired of painting. I've been trying to give it up all the time, if we could just make a living out of movies or the newspaper business or something. It's so boring, painting the same picture over and over.

So many people have so many problems. When you think that health is wealth, you're so grateful just to be normal, more or less. Aren't you?

When the Woolworth's-Hot-Fudge-Sundae switch goes on, then I know I really have something.

The key of the success of Studio 54 is that it's a dictatorship at the door and a democracy on the dance floor.

I never wanted to be a painter; I wanted to be a tap dancer.

Those who talk about individuality the most are the ones who most object to deviation, and in a few years it may be the other way around. Some day everybody will just think what they want to think, and then everybody will probably be thinking alike; that seems to be what is happening.

Maybe the reason my memory is so bad is that I always do at least two things at once. It's easier to forget something you only half-did or quarter did.

I don't believe people die. They just go uptown. To Bloomingdales. They just take longer to get back.

Sometimes something can look beautiful just because it's different in some way from the other things around it. One red petunia in a window box will look very beautiful if all the rest of them are white, and vice-versa.

I always run into strong women who are looking for weak men to dominate them.

I loved working when I worked at commercial art and they told you what to do and how to do it and all you had to do was correct it and they'd say yes or no. The hard thing is when you have to dream up the tasteless things to do on your own.

I've been invited to the White House about five times. I think the greatest thing would be if they actually invited everybody to the White House every night... they'd just take about 500 people a night. Everybody would just love this country because it's so thrilling to go there. It really is.

We live in an age when the traditional great subjects -- the human form, the landscape, even newer traditions such as abstract expressionism -- are daily devalued by commercial art.

I just happen to like ordinary things. When I paint them, I don't try to make them extraordinary. I just try to paint them ordinary-ordina ry.

Living in New York City gives people real incentives to want things that nobody else wants.

I do the same thing everyday. I go to work and paint. I try to turn out as many pictures as I can.

The pop artists did images that anybody walking down Broadway could recognize in a split second -- comics, picnic tables, men's trousers, celebrities, shower curtains, refrigerators, Coke bottles. All the great modern things that the Abstract Expressionists tried not to notice at all.

My image is a statement of the symbols of the harsh, impersonal products and brash materialistic objects on which America is built today. It is a projection of everything that can be bought and sold, and practical but impermanent symbols that sustain us.

When I think about what sort of person I would most like to have on a retainer, I think it would be a boss. A boss who could tell me what to do, because that makes everything easy when you're working.

Sociological critics are waste makers.

Rodeo Drive is a giant butterscotch sundae.

I really don't care that much about Beauties. What I really like are Talkers. To me, good talkers are beautiful because good talk is what I love. The word itself shows why I like Talkers better than Beauties, why I tape more than I film. It's not talkies. Talkers are doing something.

The symptom of love is when some of the chemicals inside you go bad. So there must be something in love because your chemicals do tell you something.

I like to be the right thing in the wrong space and the wrong thing in the right space. But usually being the right thing in the wrong space and the wrong thing in the right space is worth it, because something funny always happens.

Whenever I'm interested in something, I know the timing's off, because I'm always interested in the right thing at the wrong time. I should just be getting interested after I'm not interested any more.

You'd be surprised how many people want to hang an electric chair on their living-room wall. Specially if the background color matches the drapes.

I never read. I just look at pictures.

Edward Smith: What do you think is the characteristic of a really nice person? Some people you obviously do like more than others.
Andy Warhol: Ummm, well, if they talk a lot.
ES: What, and don't make you talk?
AW: Yeah, yes, that's a really nice person.

I always notice flowers.

Fashion wasn't what you wore someplace anymore; it was the whole reason for going.

When I got my first TV set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships with other people.

Wasting money puts you in a real party mood.

It must be hard to be a model, because you'd want to be like the photograph of you, and you can't ever look that way.

I'm bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is 'In 15 minutes everybody will be famous.'

Just because people throw it out and don't have any use for it, doesn't mean it's garbage.

Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.

Day after day I look in the mirror and I still see something.

You have to be willing to get happy about nothing.

I think everybody should like everybody.

The reason I'm painting this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do.

I never fall apart, because I never fall together.

I smoke pot because I want to go to heaven before I die.

New things are always better than old things.

I want to die with my blue jeans on.

I learned that you actually have more power when you shut up.

The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.

The world fascinates me.

Fashion is more art than art is.

I like boring things.

There is beauty in everything, Just not everybody sees it.

Quotes by Andy Warhol are featured in:

Art Quotes
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Flower Quotes
You Yourself Quotes

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