“The police are looking for me. I am a flower child. He had too much control over my life.” – Valerie Solanas
This day in history, Andy Warhol was 36 years old when he was shot by radical feminist Valerie Solanas 47 years ago.
Solanas graduated from the University of Maryland for Psychology and became an American radical feminist writer. She wrote a manuscript called the SCUM Manifesto that promoted the elimination of all men and overthrowing the Government.
As an actress, she presented Warhol a film script with an obscene title that she wanted to him to produce. Despite Warhol’s disinterest in the film, she accused him of stealing the “vile” and “filthy” script. Marurice Girodias, the owner of a printing company, offered to print her writing. When looking through the contract, Solanas learned that if she published her works through Girodias, the writings would belong to Olympia Press. Given this circumstance, she believed Girodias and Warhol were conspiring against her and pushing her to try to kill them.
On June 3, Solanas barged into Warhol’s sixth floor Union Square office and fired four bullets. One bullet hit Warhol, and he underwent a five and a half hour surgery with a 50-50 chance to live.
Solanas was charged with attempted murder, assault and illegal possession of a firearm. She was also diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and served a three year term.
“This underground movie world is a mad, mad world with a lot of mad people in it. Maybe this girl, Valerie, was mad herself.” – Superstar Ultra Violet (Daily News, June 4, 1968)
After a close call with death, Warhol spent less time in the public and branched out into other entrepreneurial ventures. In the ’70s and ’80s, he made art across different platforms: magazines, film shorts and rock album covers.