9 Hyper-Relevant Andy Warhol Quotes That Prove the Pop Artist Is Still 90 Years Young

The Pop art great is as quotable as ever.

The American artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol with his paintings, December 15, 1980. Photo by Susan Greenwood/Liaison Agency.
The American artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol with his paintings, December 15, 1980. Photo by Susan Greenwood/Liaison Agency.

Pop art great Andy Warhol would have turned 90 today. Although it has been over 30 years since his passing, Warhol remains among the world’s most famous and influential artists, having shaped our understanding of what defines American art, the role of the artist, and the relationship between art, pop culture, and media. Ahead of its planned blockbuster exhibition of the artist’s work in November, the Whitney Museum of American Art will host a celebration in its lobby at lunchtime today, complete with a cake decorated with sugary flowers inspired by Warhol’s series of the same name.

To celebrate here at artnet News, we’ve identified nine of Warhol’s most quotable moments, which serve to show just how relevant he remains in 2018.

1. I am a deeply superficial person.

Andy Warhol would have fit right in to our narcissistic Instagram-driven culture.

2. I always hear myself saying, ‘She’s a beauty!’ or ‘He’s a beauty!’ or ‘What a beauty!’ but I never know what I’m talking about.

Do any of us ever, really? (Except us journalists, I swear.)

Andy Warhol Dollar Sign (1982). Photo: courtesy of Sotheby’s.

3. Checks aren’t money. 

Unless you’re going to your cousin’s wedding, who even uses a checkbook in 2018?

4. I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.

As far as aspirational quotes go, this was a provocative statement in Warhol’s time. Today, its pretty much standard practice for any Hollywood starlet over the age of 23. If anything, our society’s obsession with youth culture is only growing as Generation Z comes of age.

5. Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.

In a world where Kim Kardashian and her entire family have made billions of dollars off of a single sex tape, this is basically any would-be celebrity’s foundational creed—not to mention the basis for the entire Donald Trump presidency.

Andy Warhol, Muhammad Ali(1978). Courtesy the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London.

6. Sex is more exciting on the screen and between the pages than between the sheets. 

Warhol may have been referring to the depiction of sex on film and in books, but he could just as easily be presaging the prevalence of dating apps. In recent years, you may have read studies that young people are having less sex—even though (or, as Warhol suggests, perhaps because) they can meet and screen potential partners via their iPhones as easily as they might order takeout on Seamless.

7. Art is anything you can get away with.

This year’s Frieze New York included a dumpster filled with trash the artist had removed, sorted, and neatly stacked. The gallery was charging $70,000 for it. If that doesn’t prove Warhol’s point, I don’t know what does.

Andy WarholLiz #4, 1963Synthetic polymer paint silkscreened on canvas40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm)Private Collection © 2017 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Liz #4 (1963). Synthetic polymer paint silkscreened on canvas40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm)Private Collection © 2017 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

8. I had a lot of dates, but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this on Facebook as a meme about the joys of being an introvert.

9. What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke. Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.

This is basically why we follow celebrities on Instagram, and is pretty much a down-market version of Gwyneth Paltrow’s entire Goop business model.

10. Everyone needs a fantasy.

Sure, our Instagram accounts may present an idealized, glamorized version of our real lives. But is that really so wrong?


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