Monday, June 3, 2013


June 3, 2013


New York City (JFK+50) Acclaimed pop artist ANDY WARHOL* was the victim of an assassination attempt at his studio called THE FACTORY here in New York City 45 years ago today, June 3, 1968.

                       Statue of Andy Worhol
               Photo by Peter Zeliznak (2009)

The artist was shot at three times with a 32 automatic pistol by VALERIE JEAN SOLANAS.**  

While the first two shots missed, the third passed through both of the artist's lungs and spleen, as well as his stomach, liver and esophogus.

Miss Solanas, writer of SCUM MANIFESTO which advocated the elimination of the male sex, said...

"I consider that a moral act.  And I consider it immoral that I missed.  I should have done target practice."

In SCUM MANIFESTO, Solanas wrote...

"Life in this society being, at best, another bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the system, institute complete automation and eliminate the male sex."

Andy Warhol, who underwent five hours of surgery at Columbia Hospital and recovered, was emotionally scarred by the experience. 

 He later said...

"Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half there than all there--I always suspected that I was watching television instead of living life.
Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television.  The channels switch but its all television."

Miss Solanas, who also shot art critic Mario Amaya and attempted to shoot Warhol's manager Fred Hughes, turned herself in and was charged with attempted murder.

Valerie Jean Solanas pled guilty to reckless assault with an attempt to harm and was sentenced to three years in prison. 

*Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was born in Pittsburgh, PA to working class emigrants from Slovakia.  He suffered as a child from St. Vitus' Dance which caused him to have a fear of hospitals and doctors.

Warhol studied commercial art at the Carnegie Institute and earned a degree in Pictorial Design.  As an artist, he developed the silk screen printmaking process for his work and his pop art debuted in LA in July 1962.

He is most famous for his iconic paintings of American objects such as soup cans and Coca-Cola as well as celebrities Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

Warhol died following routine gall bladder surgery.

        President Carter and Andy Warhol
                  The White House (1977)

**Valerie Jean Solanas (1936-1988) was born in NY and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in psychology.

Solanas moved to Berkeley, California where she began writing SCUM MANIFESTO calling for women to overthrow the government as well as eliminate the male sex.

Valerie Jean Solanas died of pneumonia in San Francisco at age 52.

         Grave of Valerie Jean Solanas
         Saint Mary's Church Cemetery
             Fairfax County, Virginia
              by SarahStierch (2012)