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
a piss".

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.


  1. Very creative writing. Good post!

  2. I am not an expert on this but my wife just said we are all aspergic to a degree. Food for thought.

  3. I can't agree more Takeaway Pizza. I might post something about this quite soon. :-)

  4. I am just popping by to say thanks for the comments on my blogpost about the Asperger-book I just read. I am looking forward to check out more posts here on your blog.


  5. Although, I don't know very much about Andy Warhol...(I've only seen a few clips a long time ago of him) is very interesting theory. I enjoyed the read. JENN

  6. Very nice blog.
    Indonesian parents need those information to help solving their problem. Keep update and let's share more ^_^

  7. Thank you all, there will more soon. Not really sure when exactly as it is Cirwen's 11th birthday on Sunday, so we're organising a little girly party.

  8. wow this is interesting...and freaky because I am writing an essay about andy warhol at the moment and saw your article...!

  9. This is the great thing about blogging Nina. You never know who might shed a bit of a different light on one of your subjects of interest :-) Good luck with your essay.