“You gotta have a little humor in your life,” Paul Warhola told me.
Mr. Warhola is the older brother of Andy Warhol. In the early 1990s he took time away from his junkyard business for a series of chicken feet paintings. As I sketched him at his son's house in Tivoli, New York, I wrote down word-for-word the story of his life as he told it to me.
“I got Andy started. We put wax over the funny papers and rubbed over it with a spoon. I got him his first camera. We dug out the basement and put in a red light.
“Shirley Temple sent him a photo, and it said ‘to Andy Warhola from Shirley Temple.’
“I had 150 chickens, and I don’t like to pen ‘em up. One day the chickens got into my paint. They got me started. They did my first painting. Time Magazine called me and she said ‘I understand you’re doing product paintings and copying your brother.’
“I says ‘No, I’m gonna let my chickens do my paintings.
“I’m getting tired of interviews. I go down to the dog track and I have fun. I break even. I don’t get carried away. It’s a form of entertainment.”
If you want to know more about Mr. Warhola, his junk business, and his relationship with Andy Warhol, don’t miss the illustrated memoir “Uncle Andy’s” by Paul Warhola’s son James.
For more about Andy Warhol and the Warhola family, visit warhola.com