FACTORY MADE: Warhol and the Sixties

Steven Watson, Author . Pantheon $60 (512p) ISBN 978-0-679-42372-0

With this new chronicle of Warhol's Factory years, independent scholar Watson makes a fresh pass at the already heavily picked-apart Warhol corpus. By focusing on more marginal personalities rather than the Factory's silver-haired figurehead, Watson provides an agreeable, if far from groundbreaking, addition to the already long shelf of Warholiana. Billy Name, Lou Reed, Nico, Joe Dallesandro, Brigid Berlin and others receive more than their 15 minutes here; many even have their childhood biographies written up as partially expxlanatory of future exlpoits. The main focus is on the Silver Factory period, stretching from roughly 1960 to 1968, when Warhol was shot by enraged hanger-on Valerie Solanas. As with his books Strange Bedfellows (on early modernism) and The Birth of the Beat Generation, Watson brings in historical background and multiple cross-cultural references (along with myriad b&w photos and illustrations), but he is often outpaced here by Warhol's own Popism or Wayne Koestenbaum's Andy Warhol. Still, it's nice to have deep background on all the Factory players in one place, and the book's margins are peppered with appealing lists, definitions and piquant quotes by everybody from Truman Capote to Diana Vreeland and Allan Midgette, an actor who, with the artist's approval, impersonated Warhol at his lectures, and later said, "The Sixties happened, and Andy took credit." (Oct. 14)

Reviewed on: 09/29/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 529 pages - 978-0-8041-5117-7
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