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On This Day… The Shooting Of Andy Warhol

Written by: George Chittenden : 21 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 3rd June back in 1968 when an American radical feminist, actress and paranoid schizophrenic attempted to murder Andy Warhol. Valerie Jean Solanas had a tough childhood, as her parents divorced and she was sent to live with her grandparents, which sadly led to her grandfather abusing her. This had a profound effect on her views towards men. After coming out as a lesbian she went on to write the SCUM Manifesto, which urged women to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and eliminate the male sex. In the mid 1960’s she asked Warhol to produce one of her plays, but Andy Warhol lost the script.

Valerie Jean Solanas

Valerie Jean Solanas

He did eventually hire her to perform in one of his films, however around the same time she started self-publishing her manifesto with Olympia Press. She became convinced that the owner of Olympia Press and Andy Warhol were conspiring to steal her work. On this day back in 68’ she went into Warhol’s New York studio and fired three shots at him. Luckily for Warhol the first two bullets missed, but the third wounded him. She also shot an art critic, Mario Amaya. Following her arrest, she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Solanas served a three-year sentence for her crime. After her release she continued to publish her manifesto. She died of pneumonia in San Francisco in 1988.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

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