Andy Warhol Hated Campbell’s Soup… and other lies of the master

Blake Gopnik’s definitive biography digs deep into the radical genius of Andy Warhol. Based on years of archival research and on interviews with hundreds of Warhol’s surviving friends, lovers and enemies, Warhol traces the artist’s path from his modest origins in Pittsburgh and first success as an illustrator, to his ground-breaking pivot into Pop Art in the 1960s, to the society portraiture and popular celebrity that became his hallmarks in the ’70s and ’80s. He overcame the vicious homophobia of his youth to become a symbol of gay achievement, while always seeking the pleasures of traditional romance and coupledom. (Warhol explodes the myth of his asexuality.) Despite being burdened with an almost crippling shyness, Warhol sought out all the most notable figures of his times – Susan Sontag, Mick Jagger, the Rothschilds. Filled with new insights into the artist’s work and personality, Warhol asks: Was he a joke or a genius, a radical or a social climber? As Warhol himself would have answered: Yes.