Despite not being a gallery owner, nor a printer, Bob Colacello (born 1947) helped and publicized Andy Warhol in ways that perhaps only a writer can. He was a personal confidante, regular party plus-one, and for 13 years, served as managing and executive editor of Warhol’s Interview magazine. He is well-known for his large collection of photographs taken while hanging out with Andy Warhol and other New York socialites. As an assistant to Warhol, he accomplished miscellaneous tasks. In one such case, Warhol chose him to scout out models for the Ladies and Gentlemen series.
Bob Colacello is largely known for authoring Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up, a hybrid memoir/biography published three years after the artist’s death that offers an incomparable recounting of Warhol’s creative timeline and behind-the-scenes goings on. He was also the ghostwriter for two books published under Warhol’s name, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)—co-written with Pat Hackett—and Exposures.
Bob Colacello was born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island, a member of a middle class Italian-American family. He attended Georgetown University, specializing in international relations, but would pivot to film criticism, eventually earning an MFA from Columbia University. After graduation, he would go on to write for the Village Voice, a move linking him to Castelli Gallery director and fellow Warhol affiliate, Ivan Karp. Colacello got an invitation to write for Interview magazine in 1970. Warhol saw his film review for Warhol and Paul Morrisey’s film, Trash, and wanted him to contribute additional reviews. Colacello did so—he also worked at a needlepoint store to supplement that meagre income—before working his way up to the aforementioned higher positions.
Colacello’s writerly ambitions extended beyond Interview and Warhol. He served as a contributing editor at Parade from 1983–1987, contributing editor at Vanity Fair from 1984, and special correspondent to Vanity Fair from 1993 to the present day. He published Ronnie and Nancy, a biography and social history of the former President and First Lady, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, in 2004. He would also publish Out in 2004, a collection of photographs Colacello took during his tenure at Interview, chronicling the night life and high life of 70s and 80s New York. He continues to do interviews with those curious about his years with Warhol and is currently working on the second volume of his Reagan biography.