Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Andy Warhol - the famous eccentric
We all know Andy Warhol and his great Popart images.
there is a reason I'd like to talk about him a little.
There are many legends about him and his strange ways.
Some time ago I stumbled upon a few articles suggesting
that Andy Warhol might have had Asperger Syndrome...
This type of autism was discribed by an Austrian
psychologist - Dr Asperger, in 1940s, however the
medical world didn't recognise it till late 1980s. Andy
Warhol died in 1987 and all what will be now said is
only a theory based on remaining recordings and memories
of those who new him personally.
Dr Judith Gould, the director of Elliot House, which is
the British diagnostic centre for autism, said in her
interview with Guardian that Andy almost certainly
had Asperger Syndrome due to the fact that it is
often associated with artistic genious.
Proffessor Michael Fitzgerald from Dublin Trinity
College also studied the great artist. He said:
"People diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome are
generally hyper-focused.... tend to see things from detail
to global rather than looking at the bigger picture and
work working backwords, as most people do."
The "remote" diagnosis, would explain Andy's behaviour
seen by those who knew him as just eccentric or "taking
He was an avid collector, but he never even opened the
numerous boxes stacked in his house. He had an awkward
way of talking to people and never looked them in the eyes.
His frequent use of camera, just to look at people without
actually taking a picture, could have been the way to hide
and distance himself from the crowd and stares.
The fascination with objects and displaying them in the
repetitive pattern could also be seen as the autistic trait.
The numerous images of Marilyn Monroe and the tin of
Campbell Tomato Soup are perfect examples.
Obsession, social awkwardness, search for patterns - to me
it is fitting very well.
What really has made me agree to the theory is what Andy
said about himself:
"I'm the type who'd like to sit home and watch every party
I'm invited to on a monitor in my bedroom."
How typical for an autistic person - to be involved but from
far away where it's safe, you don't have to interact and
where you can control the sensory stimulae.
I'll leave the rest to you. See if you can agree with this theory.