By Matthew Breen
She was the toast of New York City, yet few people knew Edie Sedgwick well. 'She was Icarus: She went right up to the sun and melted,' says gay filmmaker David Weisman, a close friend of the hard-living model and film star, who coproduced and codirected her only feature-length film, Ciao! Manhattan. From the time she arrived in New York City at age 21 in 1964 until her death of a drug overdose at age 28, Sedgwick was a sensation. Upon meeting her, Andy Warhol was captivated and swept her into the Factory scene: She become Warhol's 'it' girl, muse, doppelg'nger, and constant companion, and in her new incarnation as a performance artist, she and Warhol took the media and the art world by storm. She appeared in 18 of his films and countless audiotapes, and their party entrances made an indelible impression.
Weisman, along with filmmaker and artist Melissa Painter, have collected 250 rare images of the silver '60s icon in Edie: Girl on Fire (Chronicle, $50), a stylish hardcover book that also collects interviews with her surviving intimates, including Danny Fields, Ultra Violet, and Baby Jane Holzer. Others who knew or were inspired by her'including Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and Betsey Johnson'also give accounts of her short, bright, troubled life. Since her death generations of fans have found Edie because, according to Weisman, 'She represents what has been missing in the lives of young people today'authenticity.'