On May 21, news broke that Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine is discontinuing publication by the end of 2018. For almost 50 years, Interview (also known as “The Crystal Ball of Pop”) has been a cultural staple for giving readers an intimate look into the lives of celebrities, artists, musicians, and creative innovators. What makes Interview different from other pop culture magazines is celebrities are interviewed by other celebrities.
Ad Age columnist Simon Dumenco says, “On the one hand, [Interview‘s] a tough death to take—because for many people in media, the magazine was iconic; it introduced generations of culture consumers to cutting-edge artists, actors, writers and more….On the other hand, what took so long for it to die?” He later hypothesizes what we already know: social media has taken over. Since 1969, Interview evolved into a magazine that also showcases upcoming influencers. Instagram and YouTube are now leading platforms for introducing new and rising talent.
"In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." – Andy Warhol, 1968
Andy Warhol is not just known to be the co-founder of Interview. He was an American artist, director, and producer known as “a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.” As a child growing up during the Great Depression, Warhol spent his afternoons reading old comics and Hollywood magazines. His parents saved their money to buy Warhol his first camera when he was eight years old, encouraging him to pursue art.
Throughout his career, Warhol produced and directed films, published magazines and books, and created art for advertisements, album covers, book illustrations, and magazines. But his pop art is what put him in the spotlight.
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." – Andy Warhol
When pop art came to life in 1950s Britain, Warhol jumped onboard and took the lead in changing how the world viewed visual artistry. He was best known for creating art “that glorified (and also criticized) the consumption habits of his contemporaries and consumers today.” Some of his work depicts household items like soup cans, brillo pads, and Coca-Cola bottles, while others illustrate celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Aubrey Hepburn, and Elvis Presley.
Warhol continued to change the media industry by co-creating Interview with John Wilcock. Some say that Interview was “the first publication dedicated to the cult of the celebrity.” When the magazine first started in 1969, Warhol distributed complimentary issues to his inner circle, who then rapidly spread the news of Warhol’s new publication. This launched Interview into what it has become today–an iconic pop culture magazine.
To learn more about Andy Warhol and the impact he made during his lifetime, explore The Andy Warhol Museum website. Also check out the interview below with Warhol discussing his process when creating and how he spent his time on Interview when he wasn’t working on art.