'The Andy Warhol Diaries' on Netflix: What Happened to Jon Gould?

The Andy Warhol Diaries has at its center two key romantic relationships that the artist was part of: One with the interior designer Jed Johnson, and the other with Paramount movie executive Jon Gould.

In the documentary, we see the pair get introduced by Warhol's friend Christopher Makos in 1980, after which the artist writes: "​​I should try to fall in love, and that's what I'm doing now with Jon Gould."

We see some of their happy moments, like a holiday in Aspen that the pair spent together, and learn how they lived together off and on for two years from 1983, but ultimately Gould's fear of being outed drove a wedge between them.

The couple broke up in 1985. Little did they know at that point that Warhol would have only two years to live – while Gould had just one year left.

What Happened to Andy Warhol's Boyfriend Jon Gould?

On September 18, 1986, Jon Gould died at the age of 33. In an editor's note in The Andy Warhol Diaries by Pat Hackett, she quoted an unnamed source who said he had died after "an extended illness."

The press at that time reported on AIDS deaths in that euphemistic way, particularly in relation to the obituaries of those who were not openly gay. Specifically, Gould died of AIDS-related pneumonia, salmonella bacteremia and cryptococcal meningitis in Los Angeles, California, where he had returned after his breakup with Warhol.

Hackett paints a brief, but devastating account of Gould's condition at the time of his death. She writes: "He was down to seventy pounds and he was blind. He denied even to close friends that he had AIDS."

The previous year, he had voyaged to Nepal in the search for an Eastern medicinal cure for the illness.

Warhol's diaries reveal that the artist knew about his boyfriend's condition. On February 4, 1984, Warhol wrote of doing "a personal errand with Jon." Hackett noted that Gould was admitted to hospital with pneumonia that day. She also recounts the artist telling his housekeepers: "From now on, wash Jon's dishes and clothes separate from mine."

Though HIV/AIDS can't be caught by washing your clothes with those of a person with the virus, this is typical of the sort of fear and misinformation that had sprung up in the mid-1980s due to the government's reluctance to address the disease publicly.

On the day of Gould's death, Warhol wrote: "The Diary can write itself on the other news from L.A., which I don't want to write about."

Warhol was known to have been very concerned about AIDS. He avoided friends with the disease and was less engaged in AIDS activism than his fellow gay New York artists.

However, some critics have read Warhol's final Last Supper series (begun a few days after Gould's death) as his way of grappling with his ex-boyfriend's death.

The Andy Warhol Diaries is streaming now on Netflix.

jon gould andy warhol
Jon Gould and Andy Warhol at an event. The pair dated for five years. Netflix