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Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) is best known as a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. Warhol's painting, silk-screening, photography, film, and sculpture works explore the relationship between advertisement and Art during the 1960s.
Warhol was always criticized for "capitulating" to consumerism. Critics were appalled by Warhol's open acceptance of market culture.
Warhol's parents were working-class immigrants from Austria-Hungary. As a child, Warhol had Sydenham's chorea (also known as St. Vitus' Dance), the nervous system disease that causes involuntary movements of the extremities, which is believed to be a complication of scarlet fever which causes skin pigmentation blotchiness.
Warhol The art director of Cano.
Warhol enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he studied commercial art.
During his time there, Warhol served as art director of the student art magazine, Cano, illustrating a cover in 1948 and a full-page interior illustration in 1949. These are believed to be his first two published artworks.
Warhol earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in pictorial design in 1949. Later that year, he moved to New York City and began a career in magazine illustration and advertising.
Warhol's early career was dedicated to advertising art, where his first commission was to draw shoes for Glamour magazine in the late 1940s.
Warhol's First Solo Show.
In the 1950s, Warhol worked as a designer for shoe manufacturer Israel Miller. While working in the shoe industry, Warhol developed his "blotted line" technique, applying ink to paper and then blotting the ink while still wet.
Warhol's usage of tracing paper and ink allowed him to repeat the basic image and also to create endless variations on the theme.
In 1952, Warhol had his first solo show at the Hugo Gallery in New York, and although that show was not well received, by 1956, he was included in his first group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Warhol's silk screen printmaking techniques.
Warhol was an early adopter of the silk screen printmaking process as a technique for making paintings.
In 1962, Warhol was taught silk screen printmaking techniques by Max Arthur Cohn at his graphic arts business in Manhattan.
In May 1962, Warhol was featured in an article in Time magazine with his painting Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) (1962), which initiated his most sustained motif, the Campbell's soup can.
Campbell's Soup Can painting became Warhol's first to be shown in a museum when it was exhibited at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford in July 1962.
On July 9, 1962, Warhol's exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles with Campbell's Soup Cans, marking his West Coast debut of pop art.
Warhol's First Studio...
In November 1962, Warhol had an exhibition at Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery in New York. The exhibit included the works Gold Marilyn, eight of the classic "Marilyn" series also named "Flavor Marilyns", Marilyn Diptych, 100 Soup Cans, 100 Coke Bottles, and 100 Dollar Bills.
In early 1963, Warhol established his first studio, The Factory, an old firehouse at 159 East 87th Street. At this studio, Warhol created his Elvis series, these portraits along with a series of Elizabeth Taylor portraits were shown at his second exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.
Warhol was being Shot by A Radical Feminist Writer.
On June 3, 1968, radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and Mario Amaya, art critic and curator, at Warhol's studio, The Factory.
Earlier on the day of the attack, Solanas had been turned away from The Factory after asking for the return of a script she had given to Warhol. The script had apparently been misplaced.
Amaya received only minor injuries, while, Warhol was seriously wounded by the attack and barely survived. The wounds negatively affected Warhol's life and art.
About the attack, Warhol stated:
"Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there—I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually, it's the way things happen in life that's unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it's like watching television—you don't feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it's all television".
Andy Warhol Legacy
Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city of Pittsburgh, which holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives, is the largest museum of Warhol in the United States dedicated to a single artist. Warhol has been described as the "bellwether of the art market".
Many of Warhol's creations are very collectible and highly valuable. His works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold. In 2013, a 1963 serigraph titled Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) sold for $105 million. In 2022, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) sold for $195 million, which is the most expensive work of art sold at auction by an American artist.
Some of his best-known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell's Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental films Empire (1964) and Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67).
Warhol's New York studio, The Factory, became a well-known gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons. He promoted a collection of personalities known as Warhol superstars, and is credited with inspiring the widely used expression "15 minutes of fame".
In the late 1960s, Warhol managed and produced the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founded Interview magazine. He authored numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties.
In June 1968, Warhol was almost killed by radical feminist Valerie Solanas, who shot him inside his studio. After gallbladder surgery, Warhol died of cardiac arrhythmia in February 1987 at the age of 58 in New York City.