Ultra Violet, Resurrected

THE DAILY PIC: A new CD captures the late Warhol Superstar in conversation with Andy.


This is a photo of Warhol superstar Ultra Violet (born Isabelle Collin Dufresne), taken late in her life by fellow Warholian John Loring, the famous design director at Tiffany’s. Ultra died in June – unfortunately, just before she and I were meant to talk. But her superstadom lives on, just a bit, in a double CD of her singing and talking that was recently released on the Refinersfire label, in a limited edition. I’m especially pleased that one whole disc presents two phone calls between her and Warhol, apparently recorded in June of 1969 and March of 1970. (Click on my image to hear a little clip.) There are no earth-shaking revelations: The closest thing is Warhol saying that he’s hoping to go back to making “art movies, you know, where nothing happens.” But the recordings do give a lovely sense of what a phone call with Warhol was like. The duo gossip and talk about movies, and politics (Andy sounds skeptical of UV’s conspiracy theories) but mostly about money – who has it, how to get it from them and what to spend it on. You realize how good Warhol was at getting someone to talk, and, in this case at least, how genuinely interesting he seemed to find other people.

The second conversation begins with a passage I’m especially fond of, confirming the standard idea that Warhol preferred television to real life:


Ultra Violet: Are you watching the eclipse?

Andy Warhol: No.

UV: Ohhh. You should.

UV: Is it great?

UV: Yeh. You have to be careful.

AW: Is it on TV?

UV: Oh, that’s how you? – no it’s in the sky.

AW; No you can put it – is it right now on TV?

UV: No. Not yet.

AW: When

UV: In 15 minutes.

AW: Oh – it’s on television.

UV: Yeh, but it’s not the same

AW: It’s not the saaayme?

UV: No. It’s so plastic.

AW: Huh huh huh.


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