I too find this conversation on artists and their character
fascinating. I teach highschool and AP Art History, and
while I do 'touch' on artists lives and their scandals, I
tell them that art history is a combination of gossip,
research,product and history. Too often students feel they
must be outrageous to produce art, and that is definitely
not true. What you must be is thoughtful, insightful, and
productive to produce art.
While Andy Warhol may not be everyone's role model, I
presonally found his work refreshing and a definite mock on
the every growing consumerism of that particular time. What
a genius to think that if one painting goes for X amount of
dollars, that silkscreening that same work would go for y
times X amount of dollars. Also as a shopaholic, I have to
admire a man who had his limo follow him as he went from
antique shop to antique shop to buy things, and then drop
them off in his limo...
My other favorite Andy Warhol story is that at his height,
he would hire people who looked like him (avec white wig)and
contract them out to speak simultaneously at universities
where he was invited to speak.
My questions to all of us is, would he be so outrageous in
today's times? I doubt it would be the same formatt. We are
indeed the product of our times.
An aside here is that I ask my students to seek mentors in
their personal lives, and not mentors from afar, because one
never knows about how worthy those mentors might be.