Feminism, The Cause of Andy Warhol’s Death?

Redefining art in the 1960’s, well-known artist Andy Warhol created pieces to reflect on American capitalism and the things we consume. With the multiple locations to create his artwork, Warhol became one of the greatest artists in New York City. One of these well-known locations was known as “The Factory”, in which the artist was able to create pieces with the help of his assistants. Gaining more popularity throughout the years, Warhol would eventually catch the eye of the female writer and feminist, Valerie Solana. Not only was Valerie following the artist, but she also wanted him to produce her play “SCUM Manifesto”, in which it explained for the removal of men and the environment of a perfect female society. However, conflicting with what Warhol believed in and created in his artwork, Valerie never received a response back.

Valerie Solana was brought up in New Jersey, living a life most people could not imagine. Before the age of 14 years old, she was traumatically raped by her own father, as well as abused physically by her grandfather. Once she hit the age of 15 years old, she had become pregnant, giving her children up for adoption. This choice led her to go back to school, where she ended up finding her love for writing, as well as for women. Finding her passion for women and wanting to get rid of the male sex, Valerie began to write the “SCUM Manifesto”. With many people believing it as a joke, Valerie began to struggle with her mental health, feeling like the odd man out. As her paranoia worsened, so did her anger, causing her to search for Andy Warhol after his lack of response.

Showing up at “The Factory” on June 3, 1968, Valerie was on her mission on finding the artist herself, to discuss something very important on her mind. Believing Warhol had too much control over her life, Valerie waited hours for the arrival of the artist. With the arrival of Andy Warhol and everyone else in his office building, Valerie began to shoot, aiming specifically for the artist. Striking Warhol, the artist had fallen to the ground, giving Valerie the aim she had been wanting the whole time. Pressing up against his side, Valerie shoots, damaging all of Warhol’s major organs inside of his body. She was eventually arrested, however Andy Warhol survived with long term damages affecting his future. Having to wear a corset for the rest of his life, Warhol also lived with many infections, the fear of hospitals, had gallbladder surgery, and eventually died.

Some believed his death was coincidental, however, many blame Andy Warhol’s death on the writer and feminist Valerie Solana. Being involved with feminism, what differentiates an event from becoming a “cause of death” from a “feminist movement”? With her publication of “SCUM Manifesto” still up to this day, many can go over her beliefs, comparing hers to what Warhol believed in.

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