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back to AUGUST 4 1967: ANDY WARHOL MEETS VIVA (AGAIN)

When did Andy Warhol meet Viva?

Andy Warhol had actually met Viva twice before their conversation at Betsey Johnson's party. In 1965 she went to the Factory to ask Warhol for money, even though she didn't know him. Her and her sister were renting a room at the Chelsea Hotel and had met Gerard Malanga there. Viva and her sister were short of their rent money of $16.00.

Andy Warhol (via Pat Hackett in Popism):

“She’d done it with all the nonchalance of somebody asking for their paycheck - except that I didn’t even know her! What she essentially said was ‘I need twenty dollars and you can afford it...' " (POP230-1)

Warhol had also met Viva one time previous to this, in 1963.

Andy Warhol (via Pat Hackett in Popism):

"She'd come over and introduced herself to me at some art opening around '63, when she was living with a photographer and trying to become a fashion illustrator." (POP228)

Louis Waldon told Andy Warhol that the first time that Waldon had met Viva was at Joe's Dinette on West 4th Street. According to Waldon, Viva "had scabs all over her head. She’d just gotten out of a mental institution for a nervous breakdown and she was picking at the scabs and trying not to. She asked me what I did... and I told her, I’m an actor.’ She looked me over and said ‘You’re a what? I don’t think you are.’ At that time she was painting. she’d been a model in Paris, but she just couldn’t make it there, so she went home to upstate new York and her parents put her in a mental institution." (POP228-9)

Andy Warhol on Viva (via Pat Hackett in Popism):

"[She] had a face that was so striking you had the choice of whether to call her beautiful or ugly. I happened to love the way she looked, and I was impressed with all the references she kept dropping to literature and polictics... She talked constantly, and it was the most tiresome voice I’d ever heard - it was incredible to me that one woman’s voice could convey so much tedium.” (POP)

Andy Warhol thought Viva's tedious voice could work to his advantage in dealing with the censors. Warhol was concerned about the "without redeeming social value" phrase in the legal definition of obscenity. It occured to him that if you found someone who “could look beautiful, take off her clothes, step into a bathtub, and talk as intellectually as Viva did ... you’d have a better chance with the censors than if you had a giggly teenager saying 'let me feel your cock.' (POP229-30)

According to Warhol, Viva “talked about her family a lot - her parents and her eight brothers and sisters - and her stories all usually cast her father as a Roman Catholic fanatic and her mother as a Joseph McCarthy fanatic who made the kids watch the hearings on television in their entirety. When Viva graduated from her Catholic high school, she went on to Marymount, a Catholic college in Westchester, New York, and from there she went to Paris and lived in a convent on the Right Bank while she studied art.” (POP267)

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