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Lost Andy Warhol works from the 1980s prove that the Pope of Pop was really a computer nerd

The contents of a rediscovered floppy disk reveal Andy’s experiments with early computer graphics

By Howard Halle

The mystique of Andy Warhol is such that just about any new revelation regarding his work is considered big news. That's certainly the case with an ancient floppy disk dating from 1985, discovered in a box of archival material at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. The find seemed intriguing enough that the museum solicited the help of the Computer Club at nearby Carnegie Mellon University to find out what was stored on the disk. Turns out, it contained the artist's dabblings in early computer art.

Warhol owned a Commodore Amiga and was a big fan of the machine, as well he should be: As part of its product launch, Commodore invited Andy to test the Amiga by creating a portrait of Debbie Harry live onstage as the singer sat for the artist. The newly discovered cache was completely unknown to historians, however. It includes a self-portrait; a rendering of one of Warhol's signature Campbell's soup cans; and a close-up of the face of Botticelli's famed Venus, to which Andy impishly added a third eye. It's hard to characterize any of these efforts as masterpieces, but it does show how Warhol, an aficionado of pop culture, tried to use the latest technology to shape it.


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