Warhol Superstars: Brigid Berlin
Warhol Superstar Brigid Berlin was born on September 6, 1939. As the daughter of Richard Berlin, CEO of the Hearst Corporation, she had an affluent upbringing. Berlin became heavily addicted to drugs, believed to have stemmed from speed pills awarded to her at a young age by her mother when she lost weight. She was nickname Brigid Polk because or her amphetamine injection habit and willingness to inject others. Berlin can be seen injecting herself with speed in Warhol’s 1966 film Chelsea Girls.
She began working for Warhol, as a receptionist at The Factory, around the time that he started Interview magazine and soon became a Warhol Superstar. Warhol Superstar Brigid Berlin was obsessed with taking polaroid pictures and published a large number in her 2015 book, Brigid Berlin: Polaroids. Berlin was the first person allowed to photograph Warhol’s mangled torso after his attempted assassination on June 3, 1968.
Although obsessed with taking pictures, Berlin makes it a point to stress that she that she is not an artist. In a Wall Street Journal article, Berlin says, “I want to get one thing straight: I am not an artist! I have always liked art supplies more than art.” Her opposition to art was so strong that she refused to accept paintings as gifts from Warhol, and requested more “useful” gifts, like a washing machine.