When Harriet Woodsom Gould died in 2016 in her nineties, she left behind a trove of household heirlooms relationship again to the 1700s in her Amesbury, Mass., residence. Yet in her attic, she had a secret veritable shrine to pop artwork.
There, she had stashed her late son Jon Gould’s belongings for many years since his loss of life in 1986 from AIDS. He had vases painted by Jean-Michel Basquiat, works by Keith Haring and dozens and dozens of items — photographs, valentines, sketches, letters and extra — from pop god Andy Warhol.
“My mother kept everything,” Jon’s twin brother, Jay Gould, informed The Post. Jay knew his brother “had some type of relationship” with Warhol within the Nineteen Eighties, although Jon all the time remained discreet about it. “We were very close, identical twins, but we never talked a lot about his sexuality,” Jay, now 68, defined. “It was a different time.”
Yet, he was nonetheless shocked to learn the poetry and love notes Jon wrote to the older artist. “I didn’t realize the relationship was as deep as it was.”
Actually, nobody actually knew. Gould was Warhol’s final romance, a younger Paramount government with floppy hair and preppy beauty who died tragically at 33. And although Warhol continuously talked about him in his famed diaries, printed posthumously in 1989, the artist’s dashed-off musings appeared that Jon was extra of a crush than a real companion. (Plus, few might get previous the diaries’ droll, typically imply, takes on the wealthy and well-known. Poor Liz Taylor was described as wanting “like a — belly button”!)
The new six-part Netflix collection, “The Andy Warhol Diaries,” nonetheless, goals to vary that. Premiering Wednesday, it digs beneath the diaries’ floor and into Warhol’s later romantic relationships and their influence on Warhol’s life and work. In doing so, it paints a extra susceptible portrait of the artist, who typically introduced himself as a chilly, asexual weirdo.
“He was a man full of desire, full of humanity, and that comes through in his queer longing and in his search for spiritual meaning,” the collection director Andrew Rossi informed The Post.
‘They were really in love’
Gould didn’t a lot enter into Warhol’s life as Warhol willed him into it. It was April 1981, and Warhol, then 52, was nonetheless reeling from his breakup with Jed Johnson.
Jed — everybody agreed — was an angel. He arrived at Warhol’s Factory within the spring of 1968, 19 years previous and recent off the bus from Sacramento, delivering a telegram. He began doing odd jobs across the place and in his free time taught himself find out how to edit movie, ultimately engaged on Warhol’s motion pictures.
When Warhol, then 49, was shot that June, Jed moved into the East 66th Street townhouse the artist shared along with his mom to assist him recuperate. He stayed 12 years.
“They really were in love,” Jed’s twin brother, Jay Johnson, says within the collection, confirming that the connection was sexual. “They shared a bedroom.” (Yes, Jed — like Gould — additionally had a twin named Jay. As Bob Colacello, who edited Warhol’s Interview Magazine, remarks within the doc, the “Marilyn” diptych painter “loved doubles.”)
Jed gave Warhol a way of stability he craved after the traumatic taking pictures and the harmful chaos of the Nineteen Sixties Factory scene. They adopted two canine, and Jed adorned their new residence, launching a brand new career as an inside designer within the course of. But by 1980, Warhol’s diaries reveal “family problems,” on account of some X-rated Polaroids Warhol took, his relentless partying at Studio 54 and his friendships with poisonous people. Jed left that December, and that spring Warhol confessed to feeling lonely.
“Now I’m living alone and in a way I’m relieved, but then I don’t want to be by myself in this big house with just Nena and Aurora [Warhol’s maids] and Archie and Amos [the dogs],” he confided in his diary. “I’ve got these desperate feelings that nothing means anything. And then I decide that I should try to fall in love, and that’s what I’m doing now with Jon Gould.”
Gould was a 26-year-old Paramount exec: a New England WASP with a lithe, robust physique and charismatic character, who seemed straight. Warhol reasoned: “Jon is a good person to be in love with because he has his own career, and I can develop movie ideas with him, you know? And maybe he can even convince Paramount to advertise in Interview, too. Right? So my crush on him will be good for business.”
Warhol started courting Gould with a vengeance, sending extravagant bouquets of roses to his office at Paramount. He even supplied their mutual pal, the photographer Christopher Makos, a flowery watch if he might get Gould to be his boyfriend. “I guess he never got loved,” Makos says within the collection. “Because I didn’t get my watch.” (Jay Gould additionally tells the digital camera that his brother had admitted that he was in a relationship however that he stated they didn’t have intercourse.)
At first, Gould resisted Warhol’s consideration, however ultimately the 2 started spending plenty of time collectively, although Gould would continuously draw back if issues obtained too intense, and he typically would inform Warhol to not write about him in his diary. “I think my brother was concerned about his career at that time,” Jay Gould stated. But the youthful man attended events and artwork occasions with him, invited the artist snowboarding along with his household in Aspen and even for a time moved into his place on 66th Street.
“I love going out with Jon because it’s like being on a real date,” Warhol wrote early of their relationship. “He’s tall and strong and I feel like he can take care of me.”
‘This fear and shame’
Yet it turned out that Warhol must deal with Gould. On Feb. 4, 1984, Jon was admitted to New York Hospital with pneumonia — although it was understood that he had AIDS. Warhol stayed with him within the hospital each night time for the 30 days he was there, regardless of his concern of hospitals since getting shot and his concern of getting AIDS. (Warhol couldn’t deliver himself to speak about Gould’s sickness within the diary, however his editor notes that when Gould was launched March 7, Warhol instructed his housekeepers to scrub Jon’s garments and dishes “separate from mine.”)
Around 1985, Warhol started engaged on his huge collection of 100 works primarily based on Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Jessica Beck, curator on the Warhol Museum in Warhol’s native Pittsburgh, stated that the work appear to instantly reference Gould and the AIDS disaster, significantly those with physique builder imagery (Gould was a health obsessive) and one with an enormous “C,” a reference to what Warhol known as “the gay cancer.”
“He had this deep-rooted Catholic faith, this fear and shame, and was deeply terrified of getting AIDS,” Beck informed The Post. “When I first started doing research on ‘The Last Supper’ paintings and saw that at the time he was writing so much about Jon Gould, I was taken aback. I was like, ‘Who is he, and why doesn’t anyone talk about him?’”
Gould by no means noticed these work. He ultimately went to Los Angeles, and died there Sept. 8, 1986. The diary has an editor’s notice saying that he was all the way down to 70 kilos and was blind. “He denied even to close friends he had AIDS,” the notice concluded.
Another facet of Warhol
“The Andy Warhol Diaries” e-book brought on a sensation when it appeared, in 1989, two years after Warhol’s loss of life on the age of 58 of cardiac arrest. The huge tome — culled from some 20,000 pages of the famed pop artist’s day by day musings, dictated to after which edited by his pal Pat Hackett — included each social gathering he attended, cab trip he took, junk he watched on TV and movie star interplay he had within the final 11 years of his life. It is usually seen as a glittery, vacuous, name-dropping responsible pleasure.
But learn rigorously, “The Andy Warhol Diaries” revealed one other facet of Warhol.
“I think that all of the celebrities and the lists of parties are a distraction, they’re almost a false flag from the true aim which lies beneath,” Rossi informed The Post. “So I went through several years and tried to almost decode the diaries and read between the lines and link events with photographs and with artworks.”
Jay Gould stated he was grateful to see the connection that needed to be saved so hidden for therefore lengthy defined on-screen. “When my brother passed, a lot of magazines put him in the category of hangers-on who took advantage of Andy and that really bothered me,” Jay stated. “I knew my brother would want me to [set the record straight].”
He has already seen all six episodes of the collection, however he plans to have a viewing social gathering in Maui, Hawaii, the place he has a restaurant and spends his winters.
“Jon was larger than life, and Andrew [Rossi] captured that,” he stated. “I still miss my brother. He brought my brother back to life again.”