Andy Warhol — or, Saint Warhol: Catholic, celibate, gay


English: Andy Warhol

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Bad Catholic, found at The Dish:

According to the wonderful book The Religious Art of Andy Warhol, by Jane Daggett Dillenberger, the man remained celibate, a fact revealed by his own declaration of virginity and at his eulogy, where it was recalled that “as a youth he was withdrawn and reclusive, devout and celibate, and beneath the disingenuous mask that is how he at the heart remained.” He deliberately concealed who he was to the public — famously answering questions with “uh, no” or “uh, yes” — and he certainly concealed the fact that he wore a cross on a chain around his neck, carried with him a missal and a rosary, and volunteered at the soup kitchen at the Church of Heavenly Rest in New York. He went to Mass — often to daily Mass — sitting at the back, unnoticed, awkwardly embarrassed lest anyone should see he crossed himself in “the Orthodox way” — from right shoulder to left instead of left to right. He financed his nephew’s studies for the priesthood, and — according to his eulogy — was responsible for at least one person’s conversion to the Catholic faith.

He painted, filmed, and photographed the obscene, the homoerotic, the trashy and the lewd, but never seriously engaged in it, saying himself that ”after 25 you should look but never touch.” As the art historian John Richardson recalled: “To me Andy always seemed other worldly, almost priest-like in his ability to remain untainted by the speed freaks, leather boys, and drag queens whom he attracted…Andy was born with an innocence and humility that was impregnable–his Slavic spirituality like the Russian holy fool, the simpleton whose quasi-divine naiveté protects him against an imicable world.” While The Factory — the place he worked and a home-base for the avante-garde community — dived into debauchery late into the night, Warhol was rather infamous for leaving at 10 to go to sleep.

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