Features May 1987
The death of Andy Warhol
On the phenomenon of Andy Warhol.
The death of Andy Warhol was bound to be a media event, and so it was. For the media, after all, it was like a death in the family. Here was a figure who was famous for being famous, for knowing the famous, and for serving as an avatar of fame, and nothing so pleases the media as an opportunity to celebrate one of their own creations. The front-page obituary in The New York Times, the special segment on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, the cover story in New York magazine, not to mention the many pictures and news stories in the daily tabloids and on the network news programs—the coverage could hardly have been better (or worse) if Warhol himself had orchestrated it. Which, in a sense, he had. The most distinguishing characteristic of this prodigious outpouring of commentary, homage, and celebrity-worship was the way it confined itself to the terms which Warhol himself had set for the discussion of his...
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