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Andy Warhol

In February 1978, I photographed the press conference and opening surrounding Andy Warhol's exhibition of portraits of sports celebrities at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. At one point during the event, I asked him to go to the other side of the gallery, stand in the corner flanked by his portraits of Pelé and Muhammad Ali, and look into my camera lens. Before he did what I had requested, Warhol said to me, “Is that all you want from me?” I didn’t know how to respond, and instead asked, "Isn't it bothersome that everyone wants something from you?" He replied, softly, "No, would it bother you?"

At times, Warhol was accessible, speaking with anyone who approached him, and posing for photographs. But, at other times, he wandered around the gallery, and nearby hallways by himself. I was surprised by the ease with which he navigated the event. It was as if he were in a trance.

Warhol once said, "My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus, and of a famous person."