Friday, April 24, 2009

A Life In The Day

Every morning for eleven years, from Monday to Friday, Andy Warhol phoned his secretary (and unofficial Factory biographer) Pat Hackett to download to her in a gossipy narrative everything he had done the day before. The ritual began because the artist wanted a formal record to justify his income tax deductions, which, every year, were audited by the Internal Revenue Service. Hackett was an attentive listener. Over time, she encouraged Warhol to expand the detail of each day and even dish the dirt on his celebrity pals. By the time he died, the transcribed diary ran to over 20,000 pages. A large-format hardback version published in 1989 ran to a more modest 807 pages.
I originally began uploading brief (limit 140 characters) updates to Twitter to keep my collectors informed about commissioned work moving through my studio, upcoming exhibitions and auctions, as well as relevant press coverage. Within just a couple of weeks, it has evolved into my own version of Warhol's morning phone call: in 10 to 20 short sentences each day, I describe not only work-in-progress but my moods, reading references, meetings – even the odd masturbatory fantasy. And instead of Pat Hackett, I have over a thousand online 'followers' and fellow Tweet-addicts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Hazel,

When that Warhol book came out
I savoured every page.

Unfortunately, the last time I
moved I went on a - I've got too
much shtuff - jag and gave it away.

It's a great read!

-M