Candy Darling and Andy Warhol.
Blonde icons do not get more blonde or more iconic than Candy Darling. Muse to Andy Warhol, she starred as the lead in his 1971 film Women in Revolt. She was a regular Factory girl and notorious downtown It Girl in New York. Candy was adored by all like the star she was, including the previously mentioned Andy Warhol, as well as Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground who both wrote songs about her. She was one of the early examples of turning oneself into a work of art. Candy grew up adoring the beautiful silver screen beauties of old Hollywood––Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, and especially Kim Novak. By the 1970s the studio system had long been over and Candy, out of resent and protest, actively became a living personification of old Hollywood glamour. Wanting nothing more than to be a star, she took on the blonde-bombshell-trope-as- artistic-statement thing way before Madonna was doing it in the early 90s. She was in the past and in the present, a simultaneous embodiment of a bygone studio era and of the emerging post-modern one. Candy Darling passed away at the age of 29 from lymphoma––like the icons who inspired her, she died young and tragically. Her memory has been preserved in a 2010 documentary about her life titled Beautiful Darling. It features Chlöe Sevigny, another New York It Girl who inherited a share of Darling’s legacy, in voice over readings of Candy’s diary. Above all else, Candy Darling was the embodiment of Warholian self-invention with an unwavering desire for adoration, fame, and glamour.
(L) Candy Darling by Andy Warhol, 1970. (R) Candy Darling by Robert Maapplethorpe, 1970s.
(L) Candy Darling by Anton Perich, 1970. (R) Candy Darling by Anton Perich, 1973.
(L) Candy Darling and the cast of the play The White Whore and the Bit Player directed by Tom Eyen, 1973. (R) Candy Darling by Peter Beard, ca. 1970.
(L) Candy Darling, Jed Johnson, Andy Warhol, Corey Tippin and Donna Jordan by Bill King, 1971. (R) Candy Darling by Fred W. McDarrah, 1970.