Favorite Quotes Volume XXXIII: Andy Warhol on the business of Art.

In case you missed the news, Andy Warhol’s classic “Double Elvis” painting fetched a whopping $37 million smackaroonies at Sotheby’s on Wednesday.  I know, I know . . . if you only knew they were auctioning it off you would have bid $38 million!

Well, unfortunately for you, this one is gone (interesting tidbit – there are actually 22 versions of this piece).

$37mm!  You could produce three big budget musicals for that!  Or 1/2 a Spider-Man!

Warhol is an artist’s artist, right?  I mean, it doesn’t get much more modern art guru than good ol’ Andy, which is why I was fascinated when I read this quote on the business of what he did . . . and how he felt about art and commerce combining.

Here’s what he said:

“Making money is art and working is art, and good business is the best art.”

Andy Warhol was an artistic pioneer.  He drew, sculpted, and painted what he wanted to . . . and introduced the world to a whole new perspective.  And he turned those creative impulses into a financially successful enterprise that is flourishing decades after his death.

Making money and running a business were obviously never Warhol’s primary objectives . . . Cash can never be a motivator for anyone who wants to make great art, great theater, or even great hamburgers, really.

He focused on the product, which created the business . . . which is how art and commerce are best coupled.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.