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Andy Warhol, 1970

I never knew Andy Warhol was shot in 1968, until I saw this beautiful portrait by Alice Neel in The Whitney a few weeks ago.  Nor did I know that he was then forced to wear a supportive corset the rest of his life because of his wounds.  We usually picture Andy Warhol at a party, surrounded by followers, with wild hair and a cavalier attitude toward life and death.  This painting of Andy reveals a vulnerability rarely seen from the flamboyant, pop obsessed artist.  Andy reveled in being the center of attention, but always with a mask of celebrity on.  Here Alice Neel reveals the damage and pain carried by Andy just under the surface – and it reminds me of the pain and damage we can all carry just under our clothes, just under our surface from day to day, that we keep concealed from the rest of the world and sometimes even from ourselves.

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