Perhaps Warhol’s greatest legacy for the artists who succeeded him was his establishment of a presence beyond the narrow boundaries of fine art. The Warhol ‘brand’ extended into a range of divergent enterprises including publishing, music production and television (with the artist as both producer and cameo star). His studio, known as the Factory, was famous for opening its doors to the downtown demimonde throughout the 1960s. Access was inevitably restricted after Warhol’s shooting by Valerie Solanas in 1968, but the stream of visitors – art dealers, fashion designers and pop stars – remained constant as a newly buttoned-up Factory staff transformed the artist’s operation into the multi-tentacled business-art endeavour that he famously prophesied as ‘the next step after art’. 1969 saw the founding of Interview magazine as his in-house social-climbing vehicle, and a series of books chronicling his work as a paparazzo (Exposures, 1979, America, 1985, and Andy Warhol’s Party Book, 1988) punctuated his later career.
Both an energetic star chaser and perhaps the only artist of his generation whose activities provided fodder for the gossip columns, Warhol capitalised on his ever-increasing fame by lending his face to numerous advertising campaigns. More than willing to participate in mainstream popular culture, he accepted gigs that had previously felt unfitting for a serious artist, such as guest-starring on the long-running TV series The Love Boat and directing a music video for the British pop group Curiosity Killed the Cat. Each new spot naturally promoted whatever product he was shilling, but also simultaneously expanded his own media presence.