Edie: American Girl

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Andy and Edie met on March 26, , at a birthday party for Tennessee Williams. The encounter was arranged rather than by chance, a setup by the host, movie producer Lester Persky. Persky knew Andy was on the prowl. Except sometimes they did.

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The Sedgwicks may have been illustrious, but they were also troubled, hypomania an inherited trait along with a beaky nose. Francis had gone from Groton to Harvard, a member of the ultra-exclusive Porcellian Club. Next up, a career in banking, only a nervous breakdown came first. While Francis poked the occasional cow, his inclinations were primarily artistic. He did some painting, more sculpting, fashioning out of bronze large statues of horsemen and generals. Edie would tell people that she was seven when he made his first deflected pass.

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As a teenager, Edie walked in on Francis having sex with a woman not her mother. She was sent to Silver Hill, a psychiatric hospital in Connecticut. There were bouts of anorexia and bulimia. An abortion followed. Soon after, she headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study with her cousin, the artist Lily Saarinen, and spent an entire winter sculpting a single horse. He said that every guy he knew was trying to save her from herself.

Minty, 25, in love with a man, hanged himself. Then, 10 months later, Bobby, 31, with a history of mental instability, drove his motorcycle into the side of a bus while racing the lights up Eighth Avenue. He was 36 years old, born Andrew Warhola, the youngest of four in an immigrant family in working-class Pittsburgh, though really in a Slovakian village situated in working-class Pittsburgh—meaning he grew up both in America and outside America looking in.

His father, who died when he was 13, labored in the coal mines; his mother cleaned houses. A sickly kid, a sissy kid, too, he spent his time drawing pictures and reading movie magazines. After graduating from Carnegie Tech, in , he moved to New York to begin his career. What he wanted to be, though, was a fine one. At the time, the art scene was dominated by the Abstract Expressionists, a hard-drinking, hard-driving, hard-living bunch, and highly serious, for whom the act of creation was more agony than ecstasy. Enter delicate, diffident Andy, with his art that seemed not just artless but un-art, non-art, anti-art: crayon drawings of Dick Tracy and Popeye, illustrated advertisements for nose jobs and corn removers.

Edie: American Girl

The Ab-Exers wanted no part of it or him. If this were a Hollywood movie, as opposed to real life, Andy, the sensitive misfit, would triumph over the bullies and meanies, the nonbelievers who scoffed and sneered, treated him like dirt and a joke. Is there a more archetypically rags-to-riches, nowhere-to-everywhere story in 20th-century America than his? First, though, Andy needed a gallery. Which is where Irving Blum, co-owner of L. I went to see him, and there were three soup-can paintings on the floor. I looked at the paintings.

And above them was a photograph of Marilyn Monroe that looked like it was torn out of some movie-star magazine and pinned to the wall. I asked him if he had a gallery. Movie stars come into the gallery. Andy immediately set to work, making plus silkscreen paintings of Marilyn based on that photo that Blum saw on his wall, a still from the thriller Niagara.

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Marilyn Diptych was revolutionary. On the contrary, he was getting in deeper by adding another dimension—time. Do you want to see it?


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It was two people I knew, Marisol and Robert Indiana. Their lips were touching. And I sat, sat, sat, sat, but there was no movement. And it was, Ahh! To complicate things further: Andy also looked at Andy and saw Marilyn. You could argue, in fact, that his entire persona was a tribute to—or a rip-off of—hers. There was the hair, obviously, a blonde so blonde it was a caricature of blonde, and the baby-doll voice.

There was, too, the smart-dumbness. And just in case you did miss it, Edie drew a mole on her cheek. Radiance and damage, as well. I was really intrigued. The Kenneth Williams Diaries. Russell Davies.

Edie American Girl

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Photos: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol, and the World of the Factory

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Edie: American Girl - Jean Stein, George Plimpton • BookLikes (ISBN)

Disclaimer:A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text.


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