The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

On the one hand, lot of rambling drivel. On the other, lots and lots of wit; parts of it were really fun.

I also felt something of a kinship with him, which is odd, since I’m so normal, and he was well, not.

Many quotable quotes. I should have written them down as I went.

p. 23

“At times in my life when I was feeling the most gregarious and looking for bosom friendships, I couldn’t find any takers, so that exactly when I was alone was when I felt the most like not being alone. The moment I decided I’d rather be alone and not have anyone telling me their problems, everybody I’d never even seen before in my life started running after me to tell me things I’d just decided I didn’t think it was a good idea to hear about. As soon as I became a loner in my own mind, that’s when I got what you might call a “following.”

As soon as you stop wanting something you get it. I’ve found that to be absolutely axiomatic.

p. 24

says the Factory was really an accident. Weird people just started hanging around. “..don’t ask me what it was all about about, because I never could figure it out.”

p. 25

The song All Tomorrow’s Parties (he liked it). Said there were parties all the time, one after another.

p. 27

says he “loved” Taxi (Edie). He liked the word “fascinated” better, was sure if he was ever capable of love.

p. 33

Said that “Taxi” invented the mini-skirt.

p. 45

I don’t see anything wrong with being alone it feels great to me. People make a big thing about personal love. It doesn’t have to be such a big thing. The same for living— people make a big thing about that too. But personal living and personal loving are the two things the Eastern-type wise men don’t think about.

p. 48

The best love is not-to-think-about-it love. Some people can have sex and really let their minds go blank and fill up with the sex; other people can never let their minds go blank and fill up with the sex, so while they’re having the sex they’re thinking, “Can this really be me? Am I really doing this? This is very strange. Five minutes ago I wasn’t doing this. In a little while I won’t be doing it. What would Mom say? How did people ever think of doing this?” So the first type of person— the type that can let their minds go blank and fill up with sex and not-think-about-it—is better off. The other type has to find something else to relax with and get lost in. For me that something else is humor.

go blank and fill up with sex and not-think-about-it—is better off. The other type has to find something else to relax with and get lost in. For me that something else is humor.

p. 72

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.

p. 85

Nowadays if you’re a crook you’re still considered up-there. You can write books, go on TV, give interviews— you’re a big celebrity and nobody even looks down on you because you’re a crook. You’re still really up-there. This is because more than anything people just want stars.

p. 112

Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, “So what.” That’s one of my favorite things to say. “So what.”

“My mother didn’t love me.” So what.

“My husband won’t ball me.” So what.

“I’m a success but I’m still alone.” So what.

I don’t know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.

p. 114

I look at professional people like comedians in nightclubs, and I’m always impressed with their perfect timing, but I could never understand how they can bear to say exactly the same thing all the time. Then I realized what’s the difference, because you’re always repeating your same things all the time anyway, whether or not somebody asks you or it’s your job. You’re usually making the same mistakes. You apply your usual mistakes to every new category or field you go into.

p. 167

Just then a Milanese journalist wandered by and asked me how I liked Rome.

Well, I really like Rome because it’s a kind of museum the way Bloomingdale’s is a kind of museum, but I was too tired to talk that way. Besides, he seemed nice, but almost every journalist never wants to know what you really think— they just want the answers that fit the questions that fit the story they want to write, and their idea usually is that you shouldn’t let your own personality butt in on the article they’re writing about you or else they’ll really hate you for sure for giving them more work, because the more answers you give, the more answers they have to twist to fit their story. So it’s better just to smile and say you like Rome and let them give their reasons that they have for you to like it. And anyway, I was tired.

p. 182

 Being smart could make you depressed, certainly, if you weren’t smart about what you were smart about. It’s viewpoint that’s important— not intelligence, probably.

“You’re saying that you’re wiser this year than you were last year?” B asked me.

I was, so I said, “Yes.”

“How? What did you learn this year that you didn’t know before?”

“Nothing. That’s why I’m wiser. That extra year of learning more nothing.”

B laughed. Damian didn’t.

“I don’t understand,” she said. “If you keep learning more nothing, that makes it harder and harder to live.”

Learning about nothing doesn’t make it harder, it makes it easier, but most people make Damian’s mistake of thinking it makes it harder. That’s a big mistake.

She said, “If you know life is nothing, then what are you living for?”

“For nothing.”

“But I love being a woman. That’s not nothing,” she said.

“Being a woman is just as nothing as being a man. Either way you have to shave and that’s a big nothing. Right?” I was oversimplifying, but it was true.

Damian laughed. “Then why do you keep on making paintings? They’re going to hang around after you die.”

“That’s nothing,” I said.

“It’s an idea that goes on,” she insisted.

“Ideas are nothing.”

B suddenly got a crafty look on his face. “Okay, okay. We agree. Then the only purpose in life is—” “Nothing.” I cut him off.

But it didn’t stop him. “—to have as much fun as possible.” Now I knew what he was trying to do. He was hinting for me to hand them some cash for “expenses” that afternoon.

“If ideas are nothing,” B continued, laying his argument for easy money, “and objects are nothing, then as soon as you get some money you should just spend it having as good a time as possible.”

“Well,” I said, “it doesn’t mean if you don’t believe in nothing that it’s nothing. You have to treat the nothing as if it were something. Make something out of nothing.” That threw him off the track.


I repeated myself word for word, which was hard. “It doesn’t mean if you don’t believe in nothing that it’s nothing.” The dollar signs slipped out of B’s eyes. It’s always good to get abstract when it comes to economics.

p. 199

If I wake up too early to check in with anyone, I kill time by watching TV and washing my underwear. 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.