Adam Stoner

Andy Warhol

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Episode notes

His body blue, no blood pressure to speak of, and no pulse to find, artist Andy Warhol was declared dead on arrival at Columbus Hospital in New York City – 4:51pm on June 3rd 1968 – having just been shot by a former colleague at his workshop, The Factory.

Bleeding on the gurney, a senior doctor took a fleeting look at the corpse, peeling back an eyelid and watched as its pupil contracted in the bright emergency room lights.

Andy Warhol wasn't dead.

A reminder that there's a written version of this podcast also available at

In 1964, a few years prior to Andy's shooting, he had his photo taken in front of a bare Christmas tree, a blue spruce, stripped of all decoration.

Warhol's tree was left out of the cheery full-colour spread that filled Ladies' Home Journal that year and became known as his 'anti-Christmas tree', but neither Matt or I think that was his intention... Warhol's tree captures precisely what makes Christmas so special because whether you're a fan of the theatrics of religion or of commercialism, this time is a blank canvas to decorate as you see fit.

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays. Whether you spend this time surrounded by family, binge-eating food or in quiet contemplation of the year just gone, I hope you enjoy it.

Here's how Warhol spent his final Christmas in 1986:

I went to the church of Heavenly Rest to pass out Interviews [his magazine] and feed the poor. Got a lot of calls to go to Christmas parties but I just decided to stay in and I loved it.

Merry Christmas.

You'll next hear from me on December 31st 2021.