Andy Warhol’s Guide to Life

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Andy Warhol’s legacy has grown and grown and, since his death in 1987, taken on a life of its own in this 21st-century world where it seems everybody is trying to be famous for 15 minutes. Whether you think of him as a painter, filmmaker, businessman, scam artist, genius, philosopher, thief, prophet, or phoney, you can’t deny Warhol’s influence on contemporary culture. Just scanning through a copy of his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol reveals plenty of the wisdom we associate with Warhol. Whether he actually came up with the ideas or stole them (as he was known to do) is anybody’s guess — but there’s a lot that any modern-day fame seeker or regular Joe can get from reading a copy today. Since he was born on this day in 1928, sharing some of that advice seems like a decent way to celebrate his birthday.

“The only time I ever want to be something is outside a party so I can get in.”

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

“When I did my self-portrait, I left all the pimples out because you always should. Pimples are a temporary condition and they don’t have anything to do with what you really look like. Always omit the blemishes — they’re not part of the good picture you want.”

“Everybody must have a fantasy.”

“You can never predict what little things in the way somebody looks or talks or acts will set off peculiar emotional reactions in other people.”

“Everybody has a different idea of love. One girl I know said, ‘I knew he loved me when he didn’t come in my mouth.’”

“I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of ‘work,’ because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do.”

“The biggest price you pay for love is that you have to have somebody around, you can’t be on your own, which is always so much better.”