As editor-in-chief of Out, America’s largest gay men’s magazine, Aaron Hicklin knows a thing or two about gay culture. And while Andy Warhol wasn’t the first openly-gay celebrity in American history, he was certainly one of the first to gain such mainstream acceptance: Indeed, it’s hard to imagine popular culture today without him. In conjunction with an upcoming gay pride-themed sale of Warhol’s drawing and photographs, most focused on the male nude, Christie’s wanted to hear Hicklin’s take on Andy’s art and persona — their effect on him personally and on the culture at large. Here, he talks antiques, Ru Paul and why we’re all really drag artists deep down.
What was your first Warholian moment, and when did you first encounter him?
I don’t recall — at a certain point you just become aware of Warhol. And then he’s everywhere.
What or who would be Andy’s muse if he were alive today?
Instagram, Apple, and (for better or worse) Kim Kardashian
What are your latest cultural obsessions?
Books. Real ones, made of paper, and with binding. They’re amazing!
What would you consider Warhol’s most memorable quote or anthem?
“I don’t believe in death, because I always think that when somebody dies they actually just go uptown… They go to Bloomingdales’s and they just take a little longer to get back”
If you could collaborate with Andy on a project, what would it be?
Dream dinner-party: You, Warhol, and…?
Oscar Wilde. Just the two of them.
Imagine Warhol had a Twitter account. What kind of thing might he say in 140 characters or less?
I wouldn’t presume to say.
Whose portrait would Andy most want to do now?
A toss up between Lindsay Lohan and Michelle Obama
Soup can or coke bottle?
Soup all the way.
Drag every day or only on special occasions?
To quote Ru Paul (at his most Warholian), “We are born naked, the rest is drag.”
See and bid on Christie’s gay pride-themed collection of Warhol’s drawings and photographs, “For Members Only: Eyes on the Guise,” on sale in an exclusive online auction, June 13-27.