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Andy Warhol's family members crowdfunding to make feature-length film

“In the future,” Andy Warhol said, “Everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Including, if they have their way, his own relatives.

Members of the pop artist’s family are hoping to make a feature-length film consisting largely of Warhol’s relations reminiscing about him. They are asking the public for $175,000 (£118,750) via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to help finish their documentary, provisionally titled Uncle Andy.

Subtitling their project “The Andy Warhol Family Film”, the two filmmakers – Abby Warhola, the artist’s great-niece, and her partner Jesse Best – said it would look behind the public face of the cultural icon.

The son of working-class immigrants – Julia and Ondrej Warhola, who came to the US from what is now eastern Slovakia – Warhol was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before moving to New York to pursue his artistic career.

“His family roots shaped him,” said Warhola. “He came from a very creative family and their blue-collar work ethic resonated with him throughout his entire career.”

The documentary producers promised Kickstarter donors “a rare portrait of Warhol by members of his very modest family – the Warholas”.

“Their personal stories will surprise many who thought they may have already known Warhol. With a family like this it is no wonder that Warhol became the most influential artist of modern time.”

The documentary, Warhola added, wouldn’t solely focus on her famous uncle.

Warhola’s late grandfather, Paul, “Andy’s eccentric oldest brother, a chicken farmer turned artist,” would be one of the documentary’s main focus points, along with the nephews and nieces who visited “Uncle Andy” at his New York townhouse, enjoying his “silly” humour and marvelling at a house filled with art and Siamese cats.

Warhola, a fashion photographer, and Best, an award-winning artist, have already conducted many of the interviews over the course of the last eight years.

They say they need the $175,000 to “capture a few more key interviews” and to include animation sequences to illustrate the childhood stories told by the Warhol family.

“The family did not inherit Andy’s riches,” Best explained. “That is why we are funding this project ourselves.”

After Warhol’s death in 1987, the bulk of his fortune went to creating the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York.

And while institutions like the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh have endorsed the project – as “a sweet family story” showing viewers “a side of Andy they’ve never seen before” – the praise has not been accompanied by financial backing.

A museum spokeswoman told The Independent: “As a non-profit organisation, we do not fund commercial projects.”

Uncle Andy would have approved of their Kickstarter appeal, Warhola and Best assured potential investors:

“Kickstarter allows us to stay independent. We think Andy would have loved Kickstarter for this reason and would have used it for his own projects.”



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