Art Note: Andy Warhol by Richard Avedon

by Daniel Haim

Andy Warhol photographed by Richard Avedon in New York City, August 20, 1969, printed 1975. This artwork is currently on display at The Art Institute of Chicago.


Photo by Richard Avedon. Gelatin silver print, edition 2/50. 24 x 18.7 cm. Gift of Robert A. Taub, 2011.811.

You might ask how Andy Warhol received all those scars. The story lies within the attempted assassination of Andy Warhol.

The Attempted Assassination of Andy Warhol

On June 3rd, 1968,¬†Valerie Jean Solanas arrived at The Factory and waited for Warhol in the lobby area. When he arrived with a couple of friends, she fired three shots from a handgun at Warhol. She then shot art critic Mario Amaya and also tried to shoot Warhol’s manager, Fred Hughes, but her gun jammed. Just then, the elevator arrived. Hughes suggested she take it, and she did, leaving the Factory.

Warhol barely survived. He never fully recovered and for the rest of his life had to wear a corset to prevent his injuries from worsening. Years later, his wounds would still occasionally bleed after he overexerted himself.