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Andy Warhol’s Interview





Begun in the fall of 1969 as a way to get press passes to the Seventh Annual New York Film Festival, Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine has morphed over the years from an underground newsletter and photo essay about the 1970s’ Studio 54 crowd, to a chic, mainstream magazine that defines and displays what is cutting edge today in the United States—or at least New York City. It also serves as inspiration for a talented group of teenagers who work with the education staff at The Andy Warhol Museum to create their own magazine called Urban Interview.

“ Andy Warhol used Interview to write about what interested him and what was happening in the arts and cultural worlds surrounding him,” says Matt Wrbican, assistant archivist at The Andy Warhol Museum. “He pioneered the idea of celebrities interviewing celebrities, and, over time, Interview became well-known for its intimate—and often humorous—look at the personal, professional, and social lives of the rich and famous.”

Loosely based on Warhol’s Interview, which is also famous for its high-quality fashion images by A-list photographers, Urban Interview encourages Pittsburgh-area high school students to interview and photograph people from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, and showcases the students’ own opinions, poetry, writing styles, and visual art.

“ The education staff at The Warhol developed the Urban Interview program in 1998 as a way to keep Warhol’s legacy alive and to make his work more relevant to kids today,” says Mary Tremonte, an artist-educator at The Warhol who has been managing the program for the past two years. “Most importantly though, it was created to help students with interests in art, writing, design, and magazine production learn vital interview, computer, and team-building skills that can help them achieve their professional goals later in life.”

The team of four teens that produced Urban Interview 2005 took a page out of Warhol’s book by deciding to focus on the underground art and music scene this year.

“ It was really cool to learn how to put my art background to use to create a really slick magazine that talked all about things that are important to me and my friends right now,” says Ian Kazimer, a member of the 2005 Urban Interview editorial team. “And while it definitely was a lot of fun, it wasn’t playtime. It was a real job that we all took seriously and learned a lot from.”

When asked who read his Interview magazine, Warhol once replied, “Our friends read it, and whoever is on the cover reads it.” And when questioned about what he was trying to achieve with his publication, Warhol responded, “We want to be entertaining.” Today, the teens who put Urban Interview together have the same goal and are writing and designing for the same audience: they want their magazine to entertain—and impress—their friends.

In the letter that introduces Urban Interview 2005 to its readers, the editorial team writes:
“ UI is inspired by Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, which (like his other endeavors) challenged society’s standards and rules. UI is your source for intelligent entertainment…[and] some serious articles that reflect the opinions of the editors on topics such as stereotypes, censorship, public transportation, and the music of the soul.” No doubt, Warhol would have been proud.

Urban Interview is funded by YouthWorks, a local non-profit institution that develops programs with other community organizations to help create employment and career development opportunities for young people.

Education programs at The Andy Warhol Museum are made possible by generous gifts from Mellon Financial Corporation, The Grable Foundation, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, The National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Surdna Foundation, W.L.S. Spencer Foundation, Verizon, and YouthWorks.

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