Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola; August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture.
Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental film Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67).
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Interesting Facts About Andy Warhol
- Andy was a devout Roman Catholic, Warhol attended mass daily.
- Warhol started to paint depictions of Elizabeth Taylor when the actress got sick while filming Cleopatra and the artist believed she might die.
- Warhol struck upon series paintings as a way to draw attention at galleries, and to distinguish himself from fellow Pop figure Roy Lichtenstein.
- Warhol’s modest family roots influenced his work: it’s thought his mother’s choice of lunchtime staple prompted his Campbell Soup series.
- It’s hard to believe that Andy Warhol was a classically-trained artist; at the Carnegie Institute for Technology, he was met with some opposition by professors who did not always approve of his unique style. In fact, he had to do extra work over the course of one summer to remain at good academic standing.
- Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’ is pretty common knowledge – but his New York City studio moved three times between 1962 and 1984. The Factory was a place for intellect, art, and sexual intrigue. Warhol invited a number of people to the Factory, including artists, porn stars, drag queens, musicians, and drug addicts.
- Andy Warhol was king of the Pop Art movement, and his piece titled Marilyn Diptychis emblematic of this movement. First, he used an image that had already existed; he did not draw the picture or take the photograph himself. In fact, the photo came from a press release. Next, Warhol’s pop art showed rejection of the overriding system of art. The picture was not his, and he took no steps to make it perfect. Some of the colored Marilyns are off, and many of the black-and-white Marilyns are distorted. In this sense, Warhol’s art shows that he straddled the fine line between creative modifier and artistic genius.
- After seeing some of his highly sexualized art, it seems impossible that this overtly-sexualized person lived until he was 58 without having sex. For example, in one of his films, Blow Job (1964), the camera is zoomed in on DeVeren Bookwalter. The film only shows his face and has no sound, but Bookwalter’s face and expressions matches with the film’s title. Nonetheless, Warhol himself claims that he had never had sex.