Andy Warhol was certainly the most famous artist in the world from the second half of the 20th century. He radically altered the way art is perceived, turning it “into goods”; he was what is now called a media icon
Over the past 25 years his extensive work and his life has therefore been studied in detail from various angles and in the different areas that this phenomenal artist was involved in. However, the relationship of Andy Warhol and Czechoslovakia was the only little piece missing from the huge mosaic which makes up the image of this complex artist. Often very surprising and completely new questions and answers are raised in the book entitled Andy Warhol and Czechoslovakia by the authors Rudo Prekop and Michal Cihlář. The book reflects the strong relationship between Czechoslovakia and Warhol, primarily aiming to trace the relationship of Warhol towards his parents’ homeland. The publication, which is neither a typical monograph nor an ordinary biography, has been compiled for an incredible 22 years. Through the pioneering research and collecting work of the authors and many of their colleagues, the book is illustrated with more than 1200 photographs and documents, many of them published for the first time. The authors were allowed access thanks to the helpfullness of Andy Warhol’s family, mainly his brothers, John and Paul, who up to then had not allowed anyone to research their family archive so thoroughly.
The team of authors includes the graphic designer Robert V. Novák who has created a kaleidoscope from the immense amount of text and pictorial documents, in which we see Andy Warhol’s personality in countless new and fresh ways. The book focuses in one part on the most important figure in Andy’s life, his mother Julia, and then the book provides memories of Warhol’s colleagues from the Factory (photographers, assistants, cameramen, gallery owners, curators, actors and actresses), members of the Velvet Underground and other personalities of the independent scene in New York. A separate chapter focuses on the relationship of the underground scene in Prague connected with the band Plastic People of the Universe to Andy Warhol. The book contains some of Warhol’s early artworks from the archive and possessions of the Warhola family. The book is indisputably a fundamental work, necessary for a deeper understanding of the conflicting icon that Andy Warhol was and still is today.