The factory

Andy Warhol would have revelled in the chaos of his legacy

Andy Warhol’s legacy has been dogged by rows over authenticity more than that of any other modern artist. Warhol might well have predicted the chaos and even delighted in it. He once signed a fake painting at Christie’s – four silkscreened Jackie Kennedys – for the hell of it. ‘I don’t know why I ever did,’ he wrote in his diary – and yet the confession makes clear that he maintained a distinction, in the end, between what was fraudulent and what was his. You can’t sign a fake if everything is real. The task of the Andy Warhol Authentication Board – established in 1995 by the foundation which handles

The wizard that was Warhol

In 1983 I was sent to New York to interview Johnny Rotten and I took the opportunity to call on Andy Warhol. The Factory was in the phonebook; and the receptionist, Brigid Berlin, said that Andy was in Milan but would be back the following afternoon. ‘You better give him half an hour. Why don’t you come over at 2.30 p.m.?’ So I did. I’d never been part of that New York scene, but wanted to meet someone who had helped me develop my own freedoms almost 20 years earlier. According to Blake Gopnik’s book, I should have found a studio that was triple-locked, with an anxious artist hiding inside.