Cultural Revolutions

Death and Taxes

Death and taxes are only a little more predictable than the art of Andy Warhol. Just one month after Warhol's death in Manhattan at age 58 from a heart attack the morning of February 22, the day after otherwise successful gall bladder surgery, the artist was back in the news. Unlike the obits, the news wasn't on the front page; like the obits, the artist was connected with celebrities. Warhol was listed in an indictment from a Federal grand jury in an alleged tax-fraud scheme by which investors were able to make false tax deductions. Warhol wrote off $599,819, which is more than Mr. and Mrs, Sidney Poitier ($500,757) and Lorne Greene and wife ($333,838), but less than Michael Landon ($1 million) and the Norman Lears ($1.5 million). "Can't I deduct liquor if I have to get high to talk and talking's my business?"—The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again.

Andy Warhol made his mark in the late 50's as a commercial artist—Tiffany's . . . Bonwitt Teller's . . . Vogue . . . Glamour. He was discovered by Ivan Karp at the start of the 60's. Karp told CBC Radio the day after Warhol's death that the artist had peaked before the 60's were over, a statement which leads only to questions about what the last 20 years have meant for Warhol's career. And then the details of his will become known: $15 million in personal property, films. Interview...

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