Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) August 28, 2009 -- Identified as Andrew Warhola, the leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art, was better known as Andy Warhol. He was was popular for his portraits of famous people, such as Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, as well as his painting of 100 cans of Campbell's Soup.
The artist had so many possessions at the time of his death in 1987, it took Sotheby's nine days to auction his estate, raising $20 million. Warhol was a compulsive collector.
Andy Warhol Foundation has hired archivists, for a fee of $600,000, to plough through 610 cardboard boxes, filing cabinets and a shipping container of 'junk', which Warhol had accumulated.
Every item will be meticulously photographed and catalogued, from taxi cab receipts, to fan mail, to scrappy notes, over the next six years. Wherever possible bizarre items will be researched.
Thomas Sokolowki will host wives of 19 head of states and representatives of the European Union, in September. The director of the Andy Warhol Museum says "I would like to give them a Warhol experience". He wants to see them women dressed just the same as the archivists, in white smocks and gloves and give them a box to poke through.
The White House has not yet agreed to go along with the concept.
The archivist, in one of the early finds, discovered a signed skinny-dipping poster of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie O. was a common visitor to Warhol's Montauk, N.Y., beachfront estate. One of the paparazzi was instructed by Aristotle Onassis to shoot a photo of Jacky skinny-dipping. It was turned into a poster for a porn magazine, when the photo ended up in Larry Flynt's hands. Jacky sent a copy to Andy Warhol, signing it, 'For Andy, with enduring affection, Jackie Montauk'.
Warhol couldnât stand to throw anything away. The things he collected he placed in cardboard boxes, dating and taping them shut as âtime capsulesâ. When he died his four-storey Manhattan townhouse was jammed packed with stuff, including a drawer of gems worth $1million.
The archivists began the project in earnest 18 months ago. They have opened 177 boxes, each with between 400 -1200 items inside.
An 'Object of the Week' blog will begin in September, as the archivists make a weekly revelation on the Internet.
During a stay in Byron Bay, Australia, Warhol painted the outside of a toilet wall. The next morning the municipality ruled that âgraffitiâ was not becoming on a public building and had workmen immediately paint it over.
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