The Andy Warhol Diaries, the detailed memoirs of the pioneering and heavily influential artist Andy Warhol, offered a fascinating insight into the mindset of one of the most prominent figures of popular culture.
The book, which was posthumously published in 1989 by Warner Books, was edited by Warhol’s long-time friend and collaborator Pat Hackett. Hackett, who also provided the introduction to the book, pulled together more than 20,000 pages of Warhol’s diary and condensed it down to a 807-page book.
Published two years after his death, the book detailed the vices of Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, Elizabeth Taylor and more. The diaries also detailed how Warhol knew that his work would become insatiably valuable after his death, telling his then art dealer Thomas Ammann that a Flower painting would be “worth a lot more, though. Someday…” after Ammann just purchased it for $40,000. That same painting was sold in an Artnet online auction for $1.32 million.
Given some of its sensationalist content, Hackett once said that the original 1989 release ruffled a lot of feathers: “A lot of people at the time were extremely upset. But [Studio 54 co-owner] Steve Rubell did something great. He went on TV and said, ‘We’re all going crazy because of what Andy said about us in the Diaries but nobody can do anything because it’s all true!’’
Among the thousands of pages that didn’t make the cut, Hackett did include a comment made about the much–loved actor Danny DeVito. According to a passage written by auction house Christies, Warhol had great affection for the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor:
“In the diaries, Warhol records both bumping into Sean Penn in the street and witnessing him marrying Madonna; registering his distaste that Ronald Reagan isn’t mingling; predicting Kevin Costner’s stardom; being uncomplimentary about Jane Fonda and Diane Keaton but raving about Brooke Shields; and observing Danny De Vito is ‘so cute, we should all marry him’. They also include wider insights such as this from 1983 on the information age: ‘After years of more and more and more “people” in the news, you still don’t know anything more about people. Maybe you know more but you don’t know better.’”
Couldn’t agree more, Andy.