15 minutes

15 minutes of fame

For the film, see 15 Minutes.

15 minutes of fame (or famous for 15 minutes) is an expression coined by the American artist Andy Warhol. It refers to the fleeting condition of celebrity that grabs onto an object of media attention, then passes to some new object as soon as people's attention spans are exhausted. It is often used in reference to figures in the entertainment industry and other areas of popular culture.

In 1986, Warhol had a short-lived MTV television series, Andy Warhol's 15 Minutes.


The expression is a paraphrase of Andy Warhol's 1968 statement: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." In 1979 Warhol reiterated his claim: " prediction from the sixties finally came true: In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.

Becoming bored with continually being asked about this particular statement, Warhol deliberately tried to confuse interviewers by changing the statement variously to "In the future 15 people will be famous" and "In 15 minutes everybody will be famous.


Warhol's comment and the insight it expresses grew out of his own interest in fame and celebrity. His view of the media was that they could enable any person to become famous. Warhol's own shifting entourage of otherwise undistinguished hangers-on in the '60s and '70s, whom he dubbed his "Superstars," exemplified his idea of short-term, disposable celebrity.

The age of reality television has seen the comment wryly updated as: "In the future, everyone will be obscure for 15 minutes. The British artist Banksy has done a sculpture of a TV that has "In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes" written on its screen.

A more recent adaptation of Warhol's quip, possibly prompted by the rise of online social networking, blogging, and similar online phenomena, is the claim that "In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people" (or, in some renditions, "On the Web, everyone will be famous to fifteen people"). This quote was said to have originated with the Scottish artist Momus.

The quote has also been paraphrased as "15 seconds of fame."

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