THE FIRST JOB held by Rene Ricard, born Albert Napoleon Ricard, was Warhol superstar. Rene had run away from home and high school, fleeing to Harvard Yard, and then, after an epiphany before a Warhol flowers painting at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, he moved on to New York, where he presented himself to Andy and was accepted. He was twenty when he played the title role in The Andy Warhol Story (1966/67) opposite Edie Sedgwick. Rene played Andy viciously, sending up his jealousy, meanness, and control-freakiness. Rene said later, “The only reason I agreed to do his film was to get even with him.”
A decade later, Rene was the leading theorist of the post-Minimal (I refuse to say neo-expressionist) resurgence of painting, although he denied being a critic, preferring “art enthusiast.” He was also an outlaw flaneur and then a spectacular homeless person for a bit. He lived
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