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Brigid Berlin

From Academic Kids

Brigid Berlin (also known as Brigid Polk, born September 6, 1939) is an artist and former Warhol superstar.

Brigid was born to socialite parents and a world of Manhattan privilige. Her father was Richard E. Berlin, chairman of the Hearst media empire for 52 years. As a child she regularly mixed with celebrities and the powerful. Her socialite mother, Honey Berlin, frequently worried about Brigid's weight and had amphetamines prescribed to faciltate weight control.

After several years as a reluctant debutante and a failed marriage, Brigid Berlin met Andy Warhol in 1964 and quickly became a central member of his entourage. After moving to Hotel Chelsea, she took on the nickname Brigid Polk because of her habit of giving out 'pokes', injections of Vitamin B and amphetamines. These injections were readily available through the many 'Doctor Feelgood's'in New York and perfectly legal.

Berlin appeared in many Andy Warhol films including The Chelsea Girls in which she famously injects herself while performing a monologue. She also appears in the Edie Sedgwick film Ciao! Manhattan and has recently been the subject of a documentary Pie in the Sky.

Brigid was known for her obsessive taping and photographing of every day life. Selections from these tapes were later compiled to form the play Andy Warhol's Pork. Other tapes made by her were the basis for The Velvet Underground's first live album, Live at Max's Kansas City (recorded 1970, released 1972).

Berlin was complicit in one of Warhol's most infamous pranks when, in 1969, Warhol announced that all of his paintings were the work of Berlin. Brigid enthuisastically followed this line when interviewed by Time. The prank led to a drop in the value of Warhol's work and both parties eventually retracted their statements. The question of authorship looms large in valuing Warhol's paintings to this day.

In 1975, Brigid Berlin began work for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine, a position that she held until well after Andy's death.

Brigid Berlin is also famous for her 'Tit Paintings' (1969) (artworks executed using the painter's bare breasts) and off-Broadway one-woman shows.

Brigid still suffers with obsessive-compulsive disorder, a theme that she often explores in her artwork.

Filmography

  • Chelsea Girls (1966)
  • Bike Boy (1967)
  • Nude Restaurant, The (1967)
  • Imitation of Christ (1967)
  • Four Stars (1967) aka 24 Hour Movie
  • Loves of Ondine, The (1968)
  • Women in Revolt (1971)
  • Ciao! Manhattan (1972)
  • Bad (1977)
  • Critical Years, The (1987)
  • Serial Mom (1994)
  • Pecker (1998)
  • Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story (2000)
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