If I had to choose between a DVD of a real movie called "I Shot Andy Warhol" or this DVD which shows samples of his artwork with an emphasis on death and his religious side, my choice would be learning about Andy's crazy world by watching the real movie or by listening to a CD called Songs for Drella which is mainly songs by Lou Reed. As an activity, art has less interest for me than practically everything else about Andy Warhol, who was a celebrity that might even be considered a scapegoat for people who read too many articles in The New York Times using him as a prime example of something weird going on in American society.
I watched this DVD a few times, and it did get better as I got used to constant references to skulls, a suicide, death, religion and endless praise, but the last time, I noticed that the other artist Andy allowed to do the extra doodling on the ten boxing punching bags that Andy had decorated with pictures of Christ from the famous Last Supper painting had written `Judge Judge Judge' on one or more of the bags. If people actually punch these bags, that might mess up the paint, wouldn't it? I would hate to have anyone tell me that I was confused by my reactions to this, but looking at these exhibits on a DVD does not give the average viewer much opportunity to do anything much worse than whatever it shows.
Andy died in 1987, a few years older than I am now and much more successful, but I think I made a more comic portrait of Chairman Mao by adding floppy arms and a bunch of bananas, as if when Mao was blamed for what happened in Nam, American politicians seemed to think: If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger bunch of bananas. We sent 500,000 American bananas at a time to Asia in the years 1967, 1968, and a bit of 1969, before Nixon made the big announcement about the 250,000 churches, pagodas, and temples that the Marines were building `This year alone . . .' (Press Conference, December 8, 1969).
There aren't many women shown on this DVD, just the usual Jackie, Marilyn, and Liz portraits, and a portrait of Andy's mother, but the DVD does explain how openly gay some of Andy's tender drawings were. The flock of birds forming a star for Christmas cards might still seem inspirational to some people. One of the `Andy Warhol' signatures shown was done by his mother on the front of the card. The art which was chosen for the funeral program is explained well enough in the middle of the DVD so that is not as surprising at the end as it was the first time. Is it too late to get one of those punching bags?