In 1968 he was shot and almost killed by Valerie Solanas, one of an assemblage of underground film and rock music starts, assorted hangers-on, and social curiosities who frequented his studio, known as the factory. He had by this time become a well known fixture on the fashion and avant-garde art scene. He was widely believed to have been a gay man, and his art was often infused with homoerotic imagery and motifs. His paintings of distorted brand images and celebrity faces could be red as a critique of what he viewed as a culture obsessed with money and celebrity. Jane Daggett Dillenberger wrote a book about him and his eulogy was "as a youth he was withdrawn and reclusive, devout and celibate, and beneath the disingenuous mask that is how he at the heart remained." He deliberately concealed who he was to the public and he certainly concealed the fact that he wore a cross on a chain around his neck. He was a deeply private man, among fans was his life long Catholic faith. His Catholicism was evident in his philanthropy as well as his personal pretty. His political beliefs don't share the same kind of conviction as his religious beliefs. He once said he felt like he should be republican because he hated paying taxes but that "artists just can't republican, can they?" He professed celibacy, and since the Bible condemns specifically homosexual sex and not simply being homosexual, it seems he was able to rectify the contradiction.