Show Us Your Warhol!

Pia Zadora with Andy Warhol
Pia Zadora with Warhol and her portrait, in 1983.Credit2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Ann Clifford/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images

Andy’s portraits of the rich and famous are his biggest body of work. They also largely funded the last two decades of his life. So what was it like facing Warhol’s camera?

Actress and singer

What was the experience of being photographed by Warhol like?

I was used to posing for photographers. But he said, “Sit in the corner and be yourself.” Well, who am I? Tell me first so I do this right. It took like 10 minutes. But it worked!

Did you see yourself in the final portrait?

At the time, it looked too sophisticated to be me. I was a shy kid from Queens, my mother put me in the American Academy of Arts, next thing I know I’m on Broadway at 8 years old. I looked too serene in the portrait, and I didn’t feel that way at the time. I’ve grown into it. Now I love it!

Do you recall discussing with Warhol how many portraits you were going to buy: two, four, six?

I never paid the bills back then. But I can tell you how much an exact copy of my portrait costs now: $1,000.

Excuse me?

I wanted to hang my portrait in Pia’s Place, my cabaret here in Vegas. But the insurance cost is ridiculous! So I had Sotheby’s make me an exact replica. Side by side, I can’t tell the difference.

Original article:

Pia Zadora remembers her friend, Robin Leach

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