Andy Warhol was an American visual artist, film director, producer, and a leading innovator of the pop art movement. His works display avid criticism of American pop and celebrity culture, capitalism, and consumerism, rendering him a controversial and yet legendary figure. As part of the aforementioned criticism, he is also known for coining the expression “15 minutes of fame”.
In addition, Warhol was a trailblazer of the LGBTQ community, partially through his creation of Studio 54 – an artistic hub that offered a platform to drag queens, intellectuals, playwrights, and more. In the late 1960s, Warhol managed and produced the rock band Velvet Underground and founded Interview Magazine alongside British journalist John Wilcock. This magazine, known as “The Crystal Ball of Pop”, featured interviews with various artists, musicians and creative thinkers. These interviews were usually unedited, as they appeared in Warhol’s book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. Warhol also recruited Columbia University film student Bob Colacello, whose movie reviews in The Village Voice he was inspired by, to act as the magazine’s editor
Copies of Interview were often given away to the “in crowd” during the first wave of the magazine’s circulation. Warhol himself would distribute issues to passersby in the street and organized impromptu signing events.
Richard Bernstein, the designer of the magazine, collaborated with Warhol to create an idiosyncratic artistic style that differentiated Interview from any other printed work that existed at the time. Warhol meticulously chose the typography, colors, and design structures that were incorporated in the cover and layout of the magazine, as well as photographs that displayed his artistic and activist vision. Furthermore, the magazine featured the voices of oppressed populations, such as women, drag queens, and homosexuals. Interview Magazine still exists today, and the editors continue to champion Warhol’s vision of creating a unique, colorful, and egalitarian artistic perception that coincides with the vision he hoped for the world.