Andy Warhol's Blow Job

Roy Grundmann
Book Cover

PB: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-972-2
Publication: Jan 03

HC: $86.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-971-5
Publication: Jan 03

240 pages
7 x 10
40 halftones

A watershed in gay male culture

Read the Introduction (pdf).


In this ground-breaking and provocative book, Roy Grundmann contends that Andy Warhol's notorious 1964 underground film, Blow Job, serves as rich allegory as well as suggestive metaphor for post-war American society's relation to homosexuality. Arguing that Blow Job epitomizes the highly complex position of gay invisibility and visibility, Grundmann uses the film to explore the mechanisms that constructed pre-Stonewall white gay male identity in popular culture, high art, science, and ethnography.

Grundmann draws on discourses of art history, film theory, queer studies, and cultural studies to situate Warhol's work at the nexus of Pop art, portrait painting, avant-garde film, and mainstream cinema. His close textual analysis of the film probes into its ambiguities and the ways in which viewers respond to what is and what is not on screen. Presenting rarely reproduced Warhol art and previously unpublished Ed Wallowitch photographs along with now iconic publicity shots of James Dean, Grundmann establishes Blow Job as a consummate example of Warhol's highly insightful engagement with a broad range of representational codes of gender and sexuality.

Table of Contents

1. Myths from the Underground
2. Shadows and Myths
3. White Gay Male Identity Between Passing and Posing
4. Gay Masculinity Between (De)Construction and Demontage
5. Andy Warhol, James Dean, and White Gay Men
6. Darkness as Metaphor

About the Author(s)

Roy Grundmann is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Boston University and a contributing editor of Cineaste.


In the Series

  • Culture and the Moving Image edited by Robert Sklar

    The Culture and the Moving Image series, edited by Robert Sklar, seeks to publish innovative scholarship and criticism on cinema, television, and the culture of the moving image. The series will emphasize works that view these media in their broad cultural and social frameworks. Its themes will include a global perspective on the world-wide production of images; the links between film, television, and video art; a concern with issues of race, class, and gender; and an engagement with the growing convergence of history and theory in moving image studies.