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Warhol, Andy Biography


Was born in Pitts­burgh to immigrant Ruthenian parents. Andy Warhol started as a commercial artist, but by the 1960s was recognized as a leader of New York Pop, along with Wesselmann and Lichtenstein. The latter said, "We wanted to paint pictures so outrageous and ugly that no one would want to buy them, so we used commercial art to send it up, but instead they became high fashion, and our mockery was taken dead seriously and we all settled comfortably into repetition.' Warhol used the commercial technique of serigraphy to make multiple images of e.g. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Jackie Kennedy, and paintings of 100 Soup Cans or Green Coca-Cola Bottles, but he soon turned over production to 'The Factory', a collection of hangers-on. So, does it matter that nothing was unique or that he hadn't made them, only sponsored them? In this way he exploited his own novelty by getting patrons to have their wife's portrait done his way as 'high art'. The art market followed. For more serious collectors he made Death Chair and Wanted Man, and though the color was startling, they were well done, and clients abounded. The 'Factory people' also served as actors in his films, which included an unchanging eight-hour view of the Empire State Building. It was an easy-going studio, full of misfits, failures, transvestites, who became fashionable because shocking is fashionable, and sexual frankness all the rage as the expression of the Permissive Society. His subject in art was the society around him, which he manipulated as he permitted it to flourish. As he said, 'Everyone should be famous for fifteen minutes,' and 'Everybody should be a machine,' art being a mechanical process. But things turned serious: a young woman shot and seriously wounded him in 1968. He recovered, but the atmosphere of the Factory was never again quite so carefree. His personal life was quite different from his extravagant public image: he lived quietly, privately, alone. After his death nothing more was heard of the Factory.

Andy Warhol’s famous paintings include:

  • Blue Shot Marilyn
  • Myths (Mickey Mouse)
  • Myths (Dracula)
  • Myths (Mammy)
  • Myths (Howdy Doody)
  • Witch
  • Reigning Queens, Queen Elizabeth II
  • Elvis 49 Times
  • Albert Einstein
  • Eggs
  • Silver Liz
  • Flowers
  • Mao
  • Ladies and Gentlemen
  • Walking Torso
  • Forty Gold Marilyns
  • Myths (Uncle Sam)
  • Myths (Superman)

View Warhol, Andy paintings here.

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