Warhol / Chris Chan

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β€œ So far, the points between Andy Warhol and I are very much on point and par. I own up to my past and how it is depicted here. And it is a humbling honor to be compared with another great and unique artist and individual. πŸ˜Šβš‘οΈπŸ’™βš‘οΈ ”
Chris's Amazon review on the book.
Chris holding his copy with a self-made cover.

Warhol / Chris Chan, subtitled The Lifespan of American Pop Culture, or The Suppression of Reality, is a self-published fan book by Don Lashomb which subjectively compares the output of Chris with renowned modern artist Andy Warhol (who, unlike Chris, supposedly died a virgin).

The book was published via Amazon on 19 May 2021. Chris was made aware of it a few days later and commented on it over Twitter, taking issue with the book's focus on his sex life and sexually explicit art.[1] He purchased a copy of it and made his own cover for it as he didn't "have to feel bored in with looking at a pickle." Said pickle is a reference to the Warhol-designed cover art for the Velvet Underground's debut album The Velvet Underground and Nico. Upon browsing the book's Disclaimer chapter, Chris commented about a nitpick with its contents, insisting that his delusions were real. Aside from it, he mentioned liking the book so far and thanked the author, giving it a glowing five-star review.[2]

On 27 May, Chris recorded a cover of β€œI’ll Be Your Mirror” by the Velvet Underground to promote the book.

On 1 June 2021, while reading chapter 5 of the book, Chris briefly roleplayed as his younger pre-name change self over Twitter, in order to check in with his inner child and search for issues to address.[3]

Book description

Amazon listing description

"𝑰𝒔 π’•π’‰π’Šπ’” 𝒂 π’‹π’π’Œπ’†? 𝑢𝒓 π’Šπ’” π’•π’‰π’Šπ’” 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍? A CRITICAL CONFRONTATION. What can we learn from comparing the two most unique cultural figures in living memory?

Warhol and Chris Chan: Both became famous while producing artwork that was often met with derision. Both became the focus of intense interest and curiosity. Their indelible personalities provoked fascination and laughter. In spite of their strangeness--or because of it--they reflect particularly pertinent aspects of the world around them. They are thought of as the oddest of oddities, and yet they represent the course of our society as a whole.

From bright Pop Art to sordid underground films, Andy Warhol portrayed an America that was both familiar and avant-garde. He carried a tape recorder everywhere and prophesized that in the future everyone would be famous just for being themselves. Several decades later, Chris Chan embodies Warhol's dream: Thanks to the internet Chris has become known worldwide, is constantly documented, observed, scrutinized, and made the subject of mass debate and media analysis.

Warhol worked to legitimize popular culture and give it the prestige of high art. But more recent generations have grown up breathing pop culture as if it were air. "Young at heart", people continue playing video games and collecting toys into adulthood, and favorite entertainment franchises are treated akin to religions. More than anyone else, Chris Chan emblematizes the excesses of this era.

This comprehensive study investigates the parallels and divergences between Warhol and Chris Chan, both of whom can be seen as bellwethers of cultural shifts. The two are compared in terms of how they relate to the following elements--from the fundamentals of life to the themes of our age:

● Names & Words

● Collecting & Hoarding

● Consumerism

● Technology & Media

● Women . . . Sex . Transgenderism . . Femdom

● Fame: Mythologies of Self & Multiverse

● Recording

A wide spectrum of knowledge is painstakingly drawn upon to analyze our two subjects from all angles. References and points of comparison are made to elements of:

● Art history

● Classic film

● Modernist literature

● Philosophy (from Plato to the postmodern)

● Popular music

● Psychology (especially psychoanalysis)

● Internet meme culture

Through pathos and ridiculousness, in an uncertain world that's constantly changing, we trace the human spirit as it passes from the golden age of Americana... through the high Warholian era... and now into Chris Chan's PokΓ© Ball.

So: 𝑰𝒔 π’•π’‰π’Šπ’” 𝒂 π’‹π’π’Œπ’†? 𝑢𝒓 π’Šπ’” π’•π’‰π’Šπ’” 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍? Read slowly and see.

(NOTE: Chris Chan's pronouns are indeed respected throughout this study. The author is proud to have earned the approval of Christine Chandler herself.)"

Product details

  • ASIN : B095F3762C
  • Publisher : Independently published (May 19, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 635 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 979-8739475275
  • Item Weight : 2.31 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6 x 1.44 x 9 inches

Interview with Don Lashomb

β€œ If someone else has been posting as me here, on KF, or on Twitter, that's not me, just so you know. I didn't really keep up with the CWC communities on a daily basis before the book, and I'm not doing so now. ”
Don's personal disclaimer before the interview started.

On 31 May 2021, author Don Lashomb was contacted by Official CWCki Server moderator Orange Juice via Reddit, for a text-based interview about the production and intention of the book. Lashomb's messages are in blue, Orange Juice's messages are in orange.

Lashomb's Plans

As an easy opener, when did you first started [sic] your literary work and are you planning on doing more Chris Chan content or rather explore other projects instead?
You're too kind in calling it all "literary work". I've written a lot of different stuff since I was a child, on a lot of different subjects, much of it as a ghostwriter for other people.

I have absolutely no plans for further Chris Chan-related work aside from an eventual revised edition of the current book, correcting any factual errors and typos. The current offering is labeled as a "True, Honest First Edition" and at some point there will be a "Premiere 2nd edition", to reference the cover of Sonichu #2 ("Premiere #2"), because I think that would be funny. This was always going to happen, to correct any inaccuracies.

Other people keep asking me about things like an audiobook version (unlikely), an ebook version (more likely), and different sorts of special editions with contributions from other people. I'm reluctant to do much of that, and if any of it happens I don't expect to offer any further contributions myself. I knew who Chris Chan was before undertaking this project, but keeping up with Chris Chan and/or the CWC community was not an active interest of mine beforehand, and I have no interest in becoming an active observer or participant going forward.

Expecting Chris to Comment?

That’s absolutely valid for you to comment. Nonetheless, I’m with certain to honor your talent with such a title. Were you expecting Chris to acknowledge your book? And considering a few days ago at the time of this interview, Christine provided herself with not only a review but also a cover song and her own book cover design in order to not β€œhave to feel bored in with looking at a pickle."
You can call it literature or talk about my talent if you want, but in my view I just did the best job I could do writing the book I wrote. Readers should be able to tell from some of the humor and facetiousness in the book that I'm not taking it all so deadly seriously. A lot of effort went into the study, but I had a great time doing it. I was able to explore a lot of themes that matter to me, but at the end of the day it's a book with a pickle on the cover, and in part the cover image was chosen to diffuse the pretentiousness that tends to set in whenever one is dealing with postmodernism or academic language.

I expected Chris to respond but I had no idea what the response would be. That was part of the fun, actually, finding out. Christine offered her cover to be used for a variant edition, but we wouldn't be able to do that with copyrighted Warhol imagery on it. I haven't heard the song and only learned about its existence from a friend earlier today. I am very much NOT the sort of person to be "monitoring the situation" on social media.

Book Cover Design and Lashomb's Authorial Intentions

I find you’re taking the reception well and are avoiding to relentlessly check on updates about this. As far as colloquial dialects go, you’re a β€œmadlad” for being a part of Christory (CWC history) now and also having reportedly introduced Christine herself into Andy Warhol. This more of a personal question I have but who designed the curious book cover?
Yes, I have it on good authority that Count Dankula has already begun a "mad lads" episode on me but needs a little more material.

The cover image is from a meme by Mistletoe_Radio, who graciously allowed me to repurpose it. I tweaked it slightly.

The image linked in Orange Juice's message.
This one, correct? https://www.reddit.com/r/ChrisChanSonichu/comments/lt6s7s/before_joining_his_lifelong_band_christian_and/

Coming from an artist myself, I believe that we as creators put out our work with a defining expression or message. Many may misinterpret your book as a piece of cash grab or a form of attention (to which you've both debunked here and via your responses to a couple of users whom criticized). If you had one sentence which briefly describes your intention of the book, what would it be? Whether it's a summary or clarification about what some may think otherwise.

The image linked in Lashomb's message.
Yeah that's the image from Mistletoe_Radio. I was not in the habit of reading Reddit, but someone else I was in contact with showed me the meme on the day I finished the rough draft of the book, and I thought it was great synchronicity. I was thrilled that Mistleto_Radio allowed me to use the image because I thought it was perfect. Before then I had been thinking of spoofing the cover to "Anti-Oedipus" by Deleuze & Guattari (https://www.bibliovault.org/thumbs/978-0-8166-1225-3-frontcover.jpg), but that wouldn't've been as good.

I'll answer your "one sentence" question tomorrow (it's very late here), but I'll respond to some other things briefly:

Re: "avoiding to relentlessly check on updates about this": I think people should be careful about what they put in their heads. Just in general it doesn't do me any good to check social media, period. As far as reviews, from what he insinuated to me personally, I would guess that GiBi gave me positive coverage, but I haven't watched either of his videos that mention me. There's no reason to watch them.

Re: "having reportedly introduced Christine herself into Andy Warhol": I like playing matchmaker and I wish I could tell you some of the figures I've introduced to one another, but I can't. I knew CWC/Warhol would be a good pairing. Warhol seems like Chris Chan's precursor within a tradition of pop-culture-oriented artists. Warhol was often ridiculed as well. Both Warhol and Chris Chan can seem very strange and unique, and yet at the same time they emblematize large portions of our shared culture. Warhol was an outsider who became an insider. Chris Chan remains an outsider artist despite garnering a lot of fame. This says something about how fame itself has changed.

As I've stated before, I respect your point about not only avoiding the obsession of checking social media but to warn others of how they interpret things with their personal schema. Although uncommon as an opinion, your argument in particular of presenting Chris as another Warhol in progress is presented in a fair and grounded manner.

I am humbly thankful for the time you've taken upon this interview for today and will look forward for additional trivia or information you may have for tomorrow. Take care!

Re: "presenting Chris as another Warhol": I wouldn't say Chris is "another Warhol". Chris Chan is Chris Chan. But there are parallels to be made between the two figures, as bookends of a pop-culture era that began after WWII and may now be ending. The differences between them say something about how our culture has changed in the meantime.

Re: "If you had one sentence which briefly describes your intention of the book, what would it be?": It's the only book of its kind, and I thought the world would be more interesting with this book in it.

Re: "Many may misinterpret your book as a piece of cash grab": I understand why people jump to the most cynical conclusions, but almost anyone who gives my work even a brief glance (or sees the physicality of the actual book) will see that a lot of effort went into it. It's extremely substantive, but also very absurd, and I like the mix between those two qualities. As far as "get rich CWC" schemes go, this wouldn't rate very high. Sales have been nice but I make a lot more from my day job and other income.

Lashomb on Pickles

Thank you for following up to yesterday's past questions.

Re: "It's the only book of its kind, and I thought the world would be more interesting with this book in it."

Indeed it is, and I'm happy to exist for its creation. I've been forwarded this silly question by another CWCki Discord Server Moderator who wanted to know, "Do you like pickles?"

They're okay.

Lashomb's Interactions with Chris

Amazing response.

It's noted that Chris reported to have conversed with you and while there may be many questions in order to detail the scenario, I would like to briefly know how Chris came into contact with you/vice versa along with the conversation you two had

Chris contacted me via [REDACTED]. Our correspondence was very pleasant. I was impressed with Chris's politeness, ability to take criticism, and attention to detail. In recent years the art of email writing seems to have gone by the wayside, but I find Chris to be a conscientious correspondent. We don't agree on everything, but that's fine. It seems that eventually Christine will provide a detailed response to the book, much as she plans to offer audio commentary to Geno's documentary. I'm very happy that, in general, Chris supports the book and thanked me for writing it.

Comparing Chris and Warhol

As much as I have expected, I am happy for Christine sending you a formal yet personal message commemorating your book and adding her comments upon it. This is less of a question but rather a compliment at how you’ve dedicated yourself into creating not only the Warhol/Chris Chan book but achieved it at 600+ pages.
That goes along with wanting to make something that was both impressive and absurd, at the same time. My goal was to explore the themes and comparisons to the best of my ability, no matter how many pages it took. There's also something about both Warhol and Chris Chan that facilitates comprehensiveness and exhaustion. When Warhol first exhibited the soup cans, he didn't just show one, he showed 32 of them, one for every variety available at the time. And his film Empire, which is just a stationary shot of the Empire State Building, wouldn't've become so notorious if it wasn't 8 hours long. Similarly, Christorians tend to want to document Chris Chan's life in great detail. We have the CWCki itself, of course, but also Geno's documentary series, which seems to include almost everything, and there are also Chris-Tubers who tirelessly cover Chris on a weekly basis. Warhol's actual Diaries, covering only an 11-year period, amounted to over 20,000 pages. Warhol wanted to record everything, and Chris Chan is arguably the most documented person in history. That's another major point of comparison, showing how Chris Chan seems to fulfill another Warhol prophecy.

By the way, maybe this isn't for me to decide, but I wouldn't consider myself a Christorian. Maybe I was one for a little while.

I appreciate your outstanding research on both artists despite yourself not currently identifying as a Christorian. I cannot doubt about the absurd amount of research it must’ve taken in order to confidently write about those comparisons.

On behalf of the CWCki Discord Server and CWCki staff, I have no other questions and would like to thank you for allowing this interview! I am honored to have had this moment with you.

Interview Screenshots

Gallery

External links

References