Andy Warhol Ruled This Day

The film Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger was created by Danish filmmaker Jorgen Leth for his art movie 66 Scenes from America (1981). It’s a fairly simple concept: Andy Warhol eats a hamburger just like everyone else.

Leth didn’t know Andy Warhol personally but was obsessed with his art and definitely wanted to feature him in his movie. Despite everyone telling him that Warhol wouldn’t give him the time of day — let alone 15 minutes (that’s a pun) — Leth went to The Factory (Warhol’s studio in New York City) to ask him anyway.

He invited Warhol to a photo studio at 14th Street and 5th Avenue that belonged to a friend of his. He was afraid Warhol wouldn’t come to record the scene, but to his surprise the artist arrived at the studio along with his personal bodyguards (in case Leth turned out to be a freak). Leth had his assistant buy some burgers, directly advising him to buy some in somewhat neutral packaging because he was afraid Warhol might reject certain brands.

Upon the food’s arrival, Warhol noticed the selection of burgers provided by Leth’s assistants. He asked about burgers from McDonald’s to which Leth, slightly in panic, offered to send his assistants to the fast food chain. Warhol declined and agreed to consume the Burger King burger instead.

Andy Warhol has it his way.

Directing the video was pretty simple. Leth asked Warhol to eat the Whopper burger with some Heinz ketchup and afterwards the artists says to the camera, “My name is Andy Warhol and I just finished eating a hamburger…”

That’s it.

Why a hamburger? As an immigrant, Warhol admired the idea that in America the same food and drinks are consumed by people regardless of their status – the President drinks the same Coke as him. The clash of cultures deeply influenced the subject matter of his art. A burger might as well appear as a tribute to the idea of American life.

Watch Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger (and more) ad-free on The SCREW Channel exclusively on Roku. Don’t have The SCREW Channel? No problem, add it here.

And remember, the President also watches the same Roku channels you do.


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