Who is Andy Warhol?
What makes Warhol Warhol?
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The Pittsburg, PA born Andy Warhol established himself as a symbol of Pop Art Movement in the early 1960s for his bold works, which drew both praise and criticism for their similarity to commercial advertisements. By emphasizing techniques used by professional printers, and later employing studio assistants to help craft his works, he forced the question of what constituted art and transformed portraiture into a representation of an era. An eclectic artist, he remains best known for his renderings of American cultural staples, from Campbell’s Soup cans to Hollywood starlets and the political elite.
Everyone has a story... What's Warhol's one before he was a symbol for the Pop Art Movement?
Andrew Warhol was born on August 6, 1928, in the neighborhood of Oakland in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents were Slovakian immigrants and Andy had two older brothers Paul and John.
At the age of 8, in the third grade, Andywas determined with Sydenham's chorea (also known as St. Vitus' Dance), the nervous system disease that causes involuntary movements of the extremities. His mother gave him his first drawing lessons during these difficult times. A year later, she gave him his first camera and that's how he took up photography as well. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality, skill-set and preferences.
Warhol attended the free art classes offered at the Carnegie Institute while he was also attending Holmes elementary school.
At the age of 13, Warhol's father died in an accident. His father recognized his son’s artistic talents and in his will he dictated that his life savings go toward Warhol's college education.
That's why after he graduatedfrom Schenley HighSchool in 1945 he enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, where he studied commercial art.
In 1949 Warhol moved to New York and began a career in magazine illustration and design.
In the late 1950s, Warhol began devoting more attention to painting. In 1961 he debuted the concept of "pop art"—paintings that focused on mass-produced commercial goods. In 1962, he exhibited the now-iconic paintings of Campbell's soup cans. These small canvas works of everyday consumer products created a major stir in the art world, bringing both Warhol and pop art into the national spotlight for the first time.
Not everyone loved Warhol's pop art, Richard Hamilton described it as "popular, transient, expendable, low cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big business." Warhol on the other hand put it "Once you 'got' pop, you could never see a sign the same way again. And once you thought pop, you could never see America the same way again."
In 1964, Warhol opened his own art studio, a large silver-painted warehouse known simply as "The Factory." The Factory quickly became one of New York City's premier cultural hotspots.
In the 1970s, after Warhol was shot (he survived) by Valerie Solanis, he continued to explore other forms of media. He published such books as The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) and Exposures. Warhol also experimented extensively with video art, producing more than 60 films during his career. Some of his most famous films include Sleep, which depicts poet John Giorno sleeping for six hours, and Eat, which shows a man eating a mushroom for 45 minutes. He also worked in sculpture and photography, and in the 1980s, he moved into television, hosting Andy Warhol's TV and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes on MTV.
Warhol died on February 22, 1987, at the age of 58.
His personal life has been the subject of much debate and consideration.