Fifteen Minutes of Fame….Answers to Andy Warhol

In the future, everyone will become world famous for 15 minutes.”

Artist Andy Warhol made that statement in the late 60’s, and he could
not have predicted the future more accurately. 
In addition to the usual suspects like movie stars and world leaders, a
new Youtube or  Myspace star is born every minute.

See…,9171,1570720,00.html   and  

Technology has given us a window to the world—and a doorway to fame
that never existed before.  In many ways we’ve never been more connected to
nor  more accessible by others from all over the world. The opportunity to be
famous—for 15 minutes at least—has never before been so within the
reach of ordinary people.

Andy Warhol had a thing for fame, according to his biographer and author
of  “Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film,” Ric Burns:
” I think Andy may have had an almost ancient Roman sense of fame as a
virtue,” he said. “The ancient Greeks and Romans thought of fame as a great
It meant that one’s reputation was extended in space and time, because
of some quality of value that the famous person had. So the idea that
your reputation precedes you meant you had more staying power, you
could last longer. And I think that idea of lasting longer, of holding onto
the moment, of not falling thru the cracks of time into the abyss –
that’s at the heart of Andy’s desire for fame. Its a profound, deeply
human cry to say “I’m here, I know I’m not going to last forever, but
while I’m here I’m going to hold onto it as powerfully as I possibly
can.” And I think all of Andy’s work is a meditation on the paradox of
being alive, which is to say: I want to hold onto it, I can’t hold onto
it. He paints his painting of Marilyn Monroe the day she kills herself.

We seem to have a thing for fame and the famous too; for example, a
record number of people—an averaged 39.9 million viewers—watched the Academy awards
this year, making the show the most watched entertainment broadcast of
the season.

But have you ever wondered why? What’s the big deal about being famous?

Webster online defines fame as “public estimation,” or “popular
acclaim.” So it means that you’re praised, esteemed—valued by the
But being famous doesn’t always correlate with having integrity or
accomplishing something that matters.   And Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame
quote is most often used because of something which comprises a big part of
fame–especially modern day fame—it’s ephemeral quality. Fame is
fleeting—today’s sensation is often forgotten tomorrow.

Legacy is a word that is often interchanged with the word “fame,” but
the two concepts are different. Webster online defines “legacy” as
“money or property bequeathed to another by will. “So whereas fame is
about being known, legacy is about giving or leaving behind some sort
of a gift. And I wonder if the desire for fame is really a longing for
some evidence that we’ve left that gift—a legacy—that our lives
have mattered to someone somewhere, and that somehow we’ve made a
difference in the world.

In 1968, the year that Andy Warhol made that famous statement about
fame, Bill Gates and Paul Allen were kids at Lakeside school, playing in the
computer room and setting the groundwork for their own famous future.
Microsoft went public, their fate and their fame was sealed, and it has
seemed that they’ve been celebrities ever since.
But neither one of them has sought the limelight—in fact, Allen
especially notoriously eschews it, only coming out in public or speaking to the
press when he wants to announce a new invention or foundation he’s started.
And it seems with both of these guys, their focus is not on the fame but on
the task ahead. Driven by a kind of creative restlessness, that focus keeps them moving
forward and onto the next big thing—Gates, now focusing his efforts
full time into the impossible task of fighting poverty and disease in the
world’s poorest countries, and Allen, who has branched out in a number of eclectic investments and philanthropic
ventures, from space travel to medicine. 
In fact, Allen and Gates are collaborating on a few new projects
right now, including an investment in a fusion energy
company. Although it is still in the experimental stages, the discovery of an alternative energy source would certainly have a significant
impact on society. (See Evan Ratliff’s excellent interview of Paul Allen in Discover
Magazine, April 2007 issue.)

For these guys, the best part of the 15 minutes may not have even started yet.
For example, the Brain Institute that Paul Allen founded in
2003 recently mapped out the DNA of a mouse brain, which has allowed
doctors to isolate the gene that causes brain tumors.

That accomplishment only took 4 years—what will happen in 20?  And what about SpaceShipOne? How will that historic flight be
remembered when private space travel becomes as common place as airline

 How will either of these visionaries, already famous, be remembered
in 20 years? Only time will tell. But one thing you can say for sure, that no matter the
measure of fame, the important thing—maybe even the thing that makes
fame last—is to live a life that becomes a gift to someone else–to
leave behind a legacy.

Which brings us back to the man who coined that famous quote about
fame, artist Andy Warhol. 
If you look closely at Andy Warhol–you can see that this question of
fame and what makes something or someone valuable to people—is a theme
that permeates his work.
His celebrity portraits, of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger
and the Beatles sit juxtaposed in contrast to his portrayals of the
mundane—a banana, a Campbell’s soup can, a couple of ordinary Brillo scrubbing
pad boxes. His portfolio seems a commentary on what or who people esteem as
valuable and all of the ironies therein.
And yet, for as much as Warhol seemed to seek fame, he never seemed to take
himself or the fame that he received too seriously.
Look at this interview from the 60’s—watch his expression—he is
Look at Warhol’s oxidation paintings, ironically beautiful works that were made in the most crass manner imaginable.…/exceeding_paint/index.htm And look at this article about Warhol’s “Time Capsule”, 612  boxes
filled with stuff that you’d ordinarily throw away,  like junk mail and
The boxes hold a jumbled mass of priceless art and junk, of miniature
silk screens and junk mail, pencils and historic letters.  And yet it must
not have escaped Warhol that even his junk has value because it once
belonged to him—his fame has conferred value on something that had no worth in

In later life, even though he had an MTV show called “15 minutes
with Andy Warhol,”  Warhol changed his mind about the famous “15 minutes of
fame” quote.
“I’m bored with that line,” he said. “I never use it anymore. My new
line is, “In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous.”

That was classic Andy Warhol—he had a terrific sense of humor. Warhol
had a keen sense of the ironies within art and life and through his work
persuaded people to re-examine their perceptions of both.
Andy Warhol reflected and some say deeply influenced the
popular culture of the late 60’s and early 70’s–when departing
from–and even rebelling against—the norm was the norm. He made a point to
surprise—to be the opposite of what you’d expect. Love him or hate
Andy Warhol challenged people to see things in a different way. And
perhaps that was his legacy.

But ultimately this 6 degrees blog is a game—can we make a connection between Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen and artist Andy Warhol?  

The short answer is yes—absolutely yes—and the long answer (and number of connections) is so long that we’ll have to do it in a second post……   So on to part two—Andy Warhol…….  

 (But in the meantime, here are a few great links, including a couple of interesting Youtube videos about   Warhol…….)  Warhol Links  interview with ric burns /2006/09/18/DI2006091800475.html More bio Andy Warhol braniff commercial =pop art =scenes from the life of Andy Warhol =andy warhol scenes =scenes from Andy Warhol =art of andy warhol  BBC Warhol links  Andy Warhol at a party 25 years ago Scenes from the life of Andy Warhol http://www.youtu   Andy Warhol eats a cheeseburger =  Andy Warhol interview—watch the look exchanged between the two men—Warhol had a sense of humor   Andy Warhol Japanese commercial =   Andy Warhol Braniff (airlines) commercial p://  Warhol slideshow BJw3Apo8NoJQ&start=83&tbnid=gXmLcYA5t8w-_M:&tbnh=107&tbnw=107&ei=_pLzRaKDO6SGqwPzmf3DAQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dandy Warhol bio =Vn6sE0kcPaI&mode=related&search =pop art =cuWTWBPT5Dc&mode=related &search =scenes from the life of Andy Warhol =andy warhol scenes =XN2dmcSvLlE&mode=related&search =scenes from Andy Warhol =art of andy warhol  Albertinaplatz 1. 011-43 15-3483-0. . /imgres?imgurl= biography warhol and timeline /chron/192862.html#awfall36 Artquotes Andy Warhol resources: