The problematic nature of Warhol's critical reputation is attributable, in part, to the evasive, equivocal persona he cultivated—the calculated indifference, the monosyllabic rejoinder, the flat, vacuous affect of the I-think-everybody-should-be-a-machine Warhol. And while it's true that he suffered from a debilitating shyness, he nevertheless delighted in baffling his critics.
In reviewing Warhol's life it's often impossible to distinguish the authentic Warhol from the act. As a result, a significant portion of the critical response addresses, if only anecdotally, Warhol's personality. And with little that's reliable to go on, critics have enjoyed wide latitude in extrapolating or inventing motives for him. Currently, psychological interpretations of Warhol's work are the fashion.
Here's the artist in 1964. Want to hear him? Click here.
He's responding to an interviewer's question about whether or not it matters what the public thinks of him.