Andy Warhol Cause Of Death: Why Did Valerie Solanas Shot Him?

Andy Warhol Cause Of Death: The Andy Warhol Diaries is a six-part documentary series on Netflix that examines the extraordinary life and work of one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century.

Andy Warhol was a commercial artist by trade, but he used his art to critique the commercial art establishment and the rise of consumerism. He co-founded Interview, managed the Velvet Underground, and directed films like Sleep, but his silkscreen prints are what made him famous.

The question is, what exactly brought about Andy’s demise?

Who Was Andy Warhol

After accounting for inflation and the value of his work, American artist Andy Warhol was worth around $220 million USD at the time of his death. One of the most influential figures of the 1960s pop art movement, Andy Warhol also worked as a filmmaker and producer.

Famous examples of his work include the experimental films Empire and Chelsea Girls and the artworks “Campbell’s Soup Cans” and “Marilyn Diptych.” Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory, was also well-known for its eclectic clientele, which included intellectuals, artists, celebrities, street people, drag queens, and more.

Andy Warhol Cause Of DeathSource: NBC News

A large collection of his works is housed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s The Andy Warhol Museum. It’s the largest museum in the United States devoted to a single creator. Warhol worked in many mediums: he painted, drew by hand, printed, photographed, sculpted, silk screened, made music, and made films.

He was an early adopter of Amiga computers and CGI. Warhol also started the magazine Interview in addition to his artistic career. Among the many books, he’s written is Popism: The Warhol Sixties and The Philosophy of Andy Warhol.

Andy was out as a gay guy long before the push for gay rights gained momentum. The phrase “15 minutes of fame” is often attributed to Warhol as well. His works have fetched some of the highest prices of any paintings ever sold. These days, it’s not uncommon for his works to fetch hundreds of millions.

His paintings of Campbell’s Soup Cans, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley are among his most recognizable works. Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987, at the age of 58. After undergoing gallbladder surgery, he went into cardiac arrhythmia and died in his sleep.

Andy Warhol Cause Of Death

Andy, who was born on August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, suffered from intermittent illness. Warhol was diagnosed with Sydenham’s chorea as a kid. In 1949, he uprooted his life and career to New York City, where he began as an illustrator and advertising guy before branching out into other fields. In the 1960s, he established the hub of artistic activity known as “the Factory.”

Andy’s claimed medical issues have generated some conjecture, but hard facts about his health are difficult to come by. (A 1999 Guardian story says that his work ethic and rigid habits, such as his insistence on preserving a diet consisting of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Campbell’s soup, and fruits like bananas, closely reflect the behavioral patterns persons with autism tend to exhibit.)

In 1987, Warhol had surgery to remove his gallbladder. The sudden cardiac arrest was the cause of his untimely death. For the entirety of his life, Warhol was terrified of medical facilities. Due to his fear, he had put off getting his gallbladder removed for a very long time.

Curator of the Andy Warhol Museum, Jose Diaz, claims that Warhol was his own worst enemy. He said, “Had he been more preventative about his health, he could have gotten (the surgery) scheduled and done earlier.”

It’s also important to note that while Warhol’s operation was “routine,” surgeon Dr. Ryan described him as a “sick person” with a series of health issues stemming from his partying lifestyle and the horrific shooting he suffered at the hands of Valerie Solanas years earlier (more on this below).

Andy Warhol Was Shot By Valerie Solanas In 1968

Photograph of a tabloid newspaper article on Andy Warhol’s shooting by Valerie Solanas, courtesy of the History Channel

Valerie Solanas, a paranoid feminist, nearly killed Andy Warhol when she shot at him in 1968. Injuries received by Warhol during the shooting were so serious that they would have long-lasting effects. After enduring a lengthy five-hour operation, he spent the next two months in the hospital, healing from injuries to his entire abdominal region.

Andy Warhol was required to wear a surgical vest for the rest of his life, even after he was released from the hospital. Because of the severity of his wounds, Warhol’s health suffered in many ways.

Worryingly, he was anemic and dangerously underweight since he had problems eating and swallowing. Warhol maintains that Campbell’s soup, whose brand he helped popularise, was one of the few things he could eat.

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