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Inside Andy Warhol cont.

page two

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Cavalier: Mr. Warhol, what's your role in making the paintings?

Andy Warhol: I just selected the subjects, things that I didn't have to change much.

Cavalier: With such a lack of involvement in your own work, what value if any could your painting hold for you?

Andy Warhol: Oh, I don't know... (At this point a lanky, wavy-haired young man dressed in short pants, sandals, and sun glasses appeared in the silver entrance to the Factory.) Oh! Ondine does some of my Pop Art work. Come here, Ondine, we're being taped. Just a few words.

Ondine: I have to go to the bathroom first.

Andy Warhol: Oh, no, come here first.

Cavalier: Do you have any feeling at all about the images you create?

Andy Warhol: Ondine, you're not going to the bathroom.

Cavalier: By the way, you have a great mirror in there. It's very narcissistic.

Andy Warhol: Really? Where is it? I don't remember.

Cavalier: Behind the door. It gives you a two-way view of yourself using the toilet. But let's get back to art. Most of the things you paint are simply exact re-creations - rather than interpretations - of perfectly ordinary things: Brillo boxes, dollar bills, matchbook covers. Some are recognizable as art only because they are displayed in a gallery instead of a supermarket. When you paint these objects do you have a specific audience in mind?

Andy Warhol: No.

Cavalier: What is your feeling then? Do you want anyone to react to them, or do you paint them just to please yourself?

Andy Warhol: It gives me something to do.

Cavalier: As opposed to what? Nothing to do?

Andy Warhol: Yes.

Cavalier: There must be more rewarding things to do than printing dozens of Brillo labels by hand. It must take a great deal of time and effort.

Andy Warhol: It doesn't take long, especially when you have a lot of people helping you.

Cavalier: Do you expect people to regard them as works of art?

Andy Warhol: No, we don't have any feeling about them at all, even when we are doing them. It just keeps us busy. It's something to pass the time.

(Ondine comes out of the bathroom.)

Andy Warhol: Oh, Ondine - don't disappear again. Please.

Cavalier: Why is Ondine emptying a bucket of water into the toilet?

Andy Warhol: It's very important. The toilet doesn't work very well.

Cavalier: To return to the fine arts: Why do people buy your art?

Andy Warhol: I don't know.

Cavalier: Isn't there a slight chance that you're trying to find out just how far the public will follow your artistic experiments?

Andy Warhol: No. It just gives me something to do.

Cavalier: Have you ever met anyone who has bought your work?

Andy Warhol: Just one - and they keep sending it back without paying for it. Usually for personal reasons.

Cavalier: What do you mean? That they've hung it wrong or you don't like it?

Andy Warhol: No. They just keep sending it back. It's not the price. They can afford the money. Oh! Ondine. Please say a few words. Come on.

Ondine: When shall I ever get to bed?

Andy Warhol: Just sit right here next to me.

Ondine (To Cavalier): Hello. How are you? What's that (indicating microphone)?

Cavalier: That's Warhol's - this is ours (microphone) - the real taping.

Ondine: Then I'll talk into Warhol's.

Andy Warhol: Ondine was the subject of my six-and-a-half-hour movie Sleep. He was the only thing on camera for the entire film. [Note: The real star of Sleep was, of course, John Giorno. gc.]

Cavalier: Ondine, then, is living, walking subject matter.

Andy Warhol: Well, walking, yes.

Ondine: I am just walking: I have a terrible cold. I haven't been able to sleep in almost three days.

Cavalier: Is Ondine a Pop artist?

Andy Warhol: No, but he does some sculpture. What would you say, Ondine?

Ondine: I hope people never will buy anything that I do. I never want to be popularly accepted. For instance, I won't appear in any movies other than Andy Warhol's, and they aren't popularly accepted.

Cavalier: Does he pay you?

Ondine: Of course not. I do it for love.

Cavalier: Why, again, Mr. Warhol, do you think people go out and buy a brillo box painted by you when they can just as well buy the real thing for a few cents, if they regard this as art?

Andy Warhol: They could get SOS, the rust-free soap pads. Ondine, what kind do you use?

Ondine: I use any kind that will give my complexion that fresh scrubbed look. Sunkist like a lemon.

Andy Warhol: I thought your mouth was sunkist.

Ondine: My mouth? Oh, no. That's a dew drop.

Andy Warhol: Somebody get Ondine a glass of water.

Cavalier: Ondine, do you like other people's Pop Art?

Ondine: I don't know other people's Pop Art. I only know Andy's.

Cavalier: That's hard to believe. Mr. Warhol, have you, like many other artists today, ever been in analysis, or taken any hallucinogenic drugs?

Andy Warhol: No, I think I face everything straight on.

Cavalier: Do you think this is reflected in your painting?

Andy Warhol: I think it is. Ondine, do you like the magic book I gave you? Are you a witch, Ondine?

Ondine: Yes, I do like the book but I couldn't be a witch, I'm not from the Bronx.

Cavalier: Do you have to be from the Bronx to be a witch?

Ondine: All the witches I've met are from the Bronx.

Cavalier: Mr. Warhol, did you ever study art?

Andy Warhol: No I never did, but Ondine did in High School.

Ondine: Yes, but I only paint myself. White. With water-soluble paint. I was at Henry Geldzahler's and he was painting the bathroom. I got some paint on myself and decided to take my clothes off and paint myself all over. Then he took the brush away from me.

Cavalier: Mr Warhol, you just said that you hadn't studied painting. Has there been a strong influence in your work?

Andy Warhol: Mark [sic] Chagall. I love his work very much. I never had any thought of copying his art, but I did feel that I could express my ideas as he has.

to page three

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