It’s not that I’m rebelling. It’s that I’m just trying to find another way. – Edie Sedgwick
I’ve mentioned before that Bourke Accounting encourages employees to make our workspaces our own. I’ve also said that my favorite decoration is the Edie Sedgwick print over my desk. For most people, Edie’s beauty was her only memorable attribute; contrary to popular belief, however, beauty is neither a personality trait nor is it a talent. While Edie was no doubt beautiful, she was a tragic iconoclast whose influence can still be seen today.
Edie Sedgwick came from old money and old madness. Hers was a prominent family tracing back to early America; one ancestor, William Ellery, even signed the Declaration of Independence (Factinate.com). In addition, two of her brothers committed suicide, her mother suffered with a “nervous condition” and her father was a sociopathic philanderer. Perhaps as a preview to all of the men who would later exploit Edie, she alleged that her father had tried to “seduce” her at the age of seven (an accusation he never vehemently denied). Not surprisingly, Edie was the frequent guest of mental institutions in order to combat depression and eating disorders.
At 21, Edie’s grandmother gifted her with a trust equal to $648,343 in today’s money and Edie landed in New York City (Factinate.com). Upon her arrival, Edie began modeling, appearing in Time, Vanity Fair and Vogue (where she was named “It Girl” of 1965). Holding court with the wealthy, artists and designers, Edie is considered the first celebrity to have been “famous for being famous” (Salutsimone.com). It was at Tennessee Williams’ birthday party that Edie was introduced to Andy Warhol.
Andy Warhol was an “artist” best known for bringing visual art to the masses through his depictions of Campbell’s Soup cans. He was also a shameless self-promoter with a talent for finding damaged people and exploiting them. After appearing in one of his subpar movies, Andy would convince unhinged people that they were “superstars,” debase them and then discard them. Andy even had a body count: Jackie Curtis (OD), Andrea Feldman (suicide), Nico (OD), among many others. Side note: when he tried his cute game with Valerie Solanas, she retaliated by shooting him. This incident is further proof that we should be nice to each other.
Edie and Andy spent the next year together, with Edie appearing in many of his (pitiful excuses for) films. Edie showcased a vulnerability and comedic timing that, despite these nonsensical movies, showed that, with a better mentor, she may have been able to become a serious artist. As it was, Edie was thrown out of Warhol World when she expressed an interest in pursuing legitimate acting with manager Albert Grossman (he was also Bob Dylan’s manager. Dylan and Edie were having an affair, but he broke her heart).
Eventually and in distress, Edie returned to her parents’ estate. There, she was exploited for the last time by director David Weisman and his film Ciao! Manhattan. A very strung out Edie slurred though this superiorly stupid film, based not-so-loosely on her life, lost her mind and went to rehab. There, she met a man who actually cared for her. Edie married Michael Post and four months later, at the age of 28, she was dead from a barbiturate overdose. Suicide or accident, it was a sad waste.
Edie Sedgwick was the girl who had everything but a reason to live. Her contributions to fashion and style are still evident every year at Fashion Week. Edie really was the “Poor Little Rich Girl” who could have improved the world if only she had a little more time and a few more good people.
Come to Bourke Accounting and visit my Edie print. While Bourke Accounting experts can’t regale you with Sedgwick anecdotes, they can ensure that you’re always in compliance. If you’re looking for a mentor who will hold your best interests above all things, a Bourke Accounting pro is your only option.
Written by Sue H.