a's anatomy

Why Andy Warhol Was So Nervous About Sex: His Testicles


Sure, his piece “200 One Dollar Bills” just sold for nearly $44 million, but artist Andy Warhol wasn’t always given reason to have such self-confidence. Namely, because his testicles were such a mess.

In researching Warhol’s life for the book POP: The Genius of Andy Warhol (on sale now), co-authors Tony Scherman and David Dalton learned from the artist’s doctor Denton Cox that Warhold had “a disfiguring condition called hemagioma on his testicles,” relays WWD, “which covered them with a ruby-like rash, which was apparently one reason that he was ill at ease with sex.”


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  • romeo

    You know, I kind of want to respond with something clever, but it really just leaves me speechless. Forget about the ruby balls, what is that thing on his head? I heard he wore a wig, but WHAT IS THAT THING

  • terrwill

    One of the many groups of three words I never wanted strung together to force me to form an image in my mind included:


    Dear Queerty People: Please remember in the future there is something called way,too much information……. :-P

  • romeo

    Terrwill, Stop that! You made me blow coffee out my nose.

  • Cam

    With that wig on his head he was worried what people might think of his TESTICLES?! If they were willing to overlook that thing on his head I have a feeling that they were such determined starfuckers or vision impaired enough to not be scared off by his glowing red ballsack.

  • Joe

    leave andy alone for christ’s sake. he was awesome.

  • romeo

    Don’t see the statement his art made was all that great. Maybe if I’d been there, but everything you see in documentaries about him he comes off as a user, con artist, social climber, and all around cold-hearted bitch. I dunno, just get the feeling that he was lucky enough to create a brand name that clicked in people’s minds and still hangs on. To the tune of $44 million? I don’t see it.

    And I still want to know what that is on his head.

  • Tommy

    Regarding his hair style…


  • Cam

    No. 7 · Tommy said…
    Regarding his hair style…


    So nailed it!

  • David Ehrenstein

    Andy was indeed awesome. Forget his testicles, his skin was decidedly odd. To say he was “no beauty” is beyond putting it mildly. But he was very sweet. And very smart (the dumbness was all pose.) He had a great many boyfriends, who doubtless didn’t find his testicles upsetting.

  • McShane

    @No. 9 · David Ehrenstein: Ditto; all the way. Very smart.

    Plus from an aesthetics standpoint he is one of the world’s singular Conceptual artists; giving the notion objective meaning.

    It is untoward when we trash the great gay people in history when there is noone to replace them with.

  • Ted B.

    Actually, the wig and glasses were part of the personna of “Andy Warhol”. Once the wig was off and the contacts in, Mr. Warhola could come and go as he pleased quite anonymously, and few if any ever made the connection. Having seen pictures of several of his long-term boyfriends over the decades, he may have been initially sexually-shy but that didn’t stop him from having some very-attractive and very-smart boyfriends. And they typically lived a separate lifestyle from the public-face of “Warhol and the Factory” and Studio-54 clubbing-scene once the wig was put-away.

    He and Jed Johnson filled Warhol’s private townhouse, where few-in-the-club-scene ever were invited, with tasteful antiques and comfortable furnishings so successfully that it launched Johnson’s later-career in interiors….and few knew it was “Andy Warhol” and his boyfriend.

  • Bianca

    Romeo, I’m with you on his art. Don’t see the greatness in it at all. I guess I’m a brute but a great part of “modern art” seems like crap to me.

  • alan brickman

    He loved shrimping guys toes..

  • alan brickman

    still a great artist!!

  • Elaine

    TMI. I didn’t need to read about Andy Warhol’s kibbles and bits.

  • Rainfish

    He could have used something to conceal it that would have matched his Morlock wig. Don’t they make white fur tea-cozies with draw strings for something like that?

    Seriously, my art prof at UMKC said he worked with Warhol in NY in the pre-“before-they-refused-to-believe-the-emperor-has-no-clothes” days at a commercial art firm. My professor wasn’t impressed with his co-worker.

    Warhol was sued for his copyright infringement of the Campbell soup can. He was also notorious for stealing other people photographs and then silk-screening garish ink colors out-of-registry across the stolen enlarged black and white photo images.

    Of course he was never quite as bad as the pure plagiaristic “style” of Shepard Fairey (the recent ripoff artist of those over touted Obama posters)


    Plagiarism not withstanding, in New York art circles it is just as important who you know…and who you blow…and not so much what you really have to show…as a sure guarantee of some level of success. Follow the money or, rather, fuck the moneyed.

    Example: Jackson Pollock (aka In 1956, who Time magazine dubbed as “Jack the Dripper”). If he wasn’t copulating with rich New York socialites, while cheating on his wife, would anybody really know him? Even just schmoozing with a wealthy patron or two is often enough.

    From a BBC interview with documentary Director Tim Niel: “She (Peggy Guggenheim) loved fame and wanted to share in the fame of many of the artists she bedded. When she knew Jackson Pollock he was anything but famous – he was an obscurity who she’d rescued from a career as carpenter in Solomon Guggenheim’s museum.”

    Bottom line…Modern Art is sometimes more about celebrity and opportunity than it is about enduring talent. History will look back in future generations at Warhol and Lichtenstein and Pollock as well as many others on the “Pop”/”Mod” scene and see them as a transient cultural fads and as not serious contributors to the overall history of art. A trivial footnote at best citing the shallow eccentricities of that period.

  • Drake

    I hope that Dr. Denton COX either produces a written consent from the Wahrol Estate allowing the waiver of his medical ethics, and violate the physician/patient rule of confidentiality, or if there is none, then let’s hope that the Warhol Estate sues this guy.

    I don’t think that Andy would have liked this disclosure, and either his estate exercised very bad judgment in allowing the doctor to speak, or the doctor made a gaffe. It would be interesting to know how this happened. Either way, someone is dissing Andy for their own benefit.

  • ossurworld

    What an inspiration! To click those ruby red balls together and wish he were in Kansas.

  • Frank

    @ No. 17 · Drake

    You’ll be happy to know that Dr. Cox was murdered on March 3, 2007. He was a loyal physician and friend to Andy, but this book certainly made him out to be a monster.

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