Andy Warhol in Detroit by Michelle Andonian (1985)

michelle andonian andy warhol In November 1985, Andy Warhol traveled from New York to Detroit promoting his new publication America with a scheduled stop at the DIA for a special book signing. Warhol took time for an interview with Colby and staff photographer Michelle Andonian joined them along with Warhol’s assistant Christopher Makos. The group had breakfast on the top floor restaurant of the Ponchatrain Hotel where Warhol took in the view of the city (he later remarked in his diary that Detroit was so sprawling, it reminded him of Los Angeles).

At one point in the conversation, Warhol referred to Detroit’s most recognizable riverfront architecture as “that interesting sculpture over there.” Taking a cue from the world’s most famous pop artist, Andonian suggested a quick portrait with the so-called “sculpture” – the Detroit Renaissance Center – as a backdrop, and Warhol agreed.