24 February 2022

Ryan Murphy resurrects Andy Warhol using AI in new Netflix documentary

Pop art icon and cultural savant, Andy Warhol, is set to be immortalised in AI in Ryan Murphy's upcoming Netflix docuseries, 'The Andy Warhol Diaries'.

American Horror Story creator, Murphy, has teamed up with director Andrew Rossi for the six-part docuseries, which will tell the story of Warhol’s life — from childhood to his illustrious career as an artist, director, publisher, socialite, and beyond. 

Featuring interviews with Warhol’s collaborators, friends and other notable figures, including John Waters and Rob Lowe, the series will also feature readings from his diaries through the AI Warhol voice. 

The Chelsea Girls filmmaker’s voice was created using a text-to-speech algorithm that could include his Pittsburgh accent. Actor Bill Irwin recorded the selected passages and then the AI digital voice was imposed to create a render of Warhol’s voice.  

Speaking about the series to Entertainment Weekly, Rossi explained: “Andy Warhol was famously guarded about his personal thoughts and opinions. That’s one reason his diaries are such a rare and fascinating window; he could be incredibly raw and emotional as he talked to his diarist over the phone.

“To fully appreciate the radical vulnerability that Andy shares in he diaries, I felt that we needed to hear the words in Andy’s own voice,” he added. 

In his diaries, Warhol, who was fascinated by emerging technologies himself, explored his sexuality, Catholicism, and his relationship with fellow artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat.

“Beginning with his childhood in Pittsburgh, the series traces Warhol’s almost unbelievably diverse journey fluidly moving between mediums and through eras as an artist – both revered and reviled – director, publisher, TV producer, scene maker, celebrity and much more,” reads the show’s synopsis.  

“While he was a larger-than-life figure, Warhol was intensely private regarding his personal life. This series truly reveals much about the very complex man through his own words – often in his own voice through the use of cutting-edge AI techniques – and those who worked, created and played alongside him from the subversive to the mainstream, from John Waters to Rob Lowe.”

Warhol died at the age of 58 in February of 1987 following complications after gallbladder surgery. 

The Andy Warhol Diaries will be able to stream on Netflix on March 9. 

  • Writer Nessa Humayun
  • Banner Image Netflix

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