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Andy Warhol. Famous Artist.
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Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Born:1928-01-01   Died: 1987-01-01

Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, PA, United States, to Slovakian immigrants of Ruthenian ethnicity. He showed early artistic talent, and studied commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now known as Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh.

Upon graduating in 1949, he relocated to New York City and began a successful career in magazine illustration and advertising. In the 1960s, he started to make paintings of famous American products like Campbell's soup cans and Coca-Cola. He switched to silkscreen prints, seeking not only to make art of mass produced items, but to mass produce the art itself. He hired and supervised "art workers" engaged in making prints, shoes, films, and other items at his studio.

The Factory, located on Union Square in New York City. The Factory became a meeting place of artists and would-be artists such as Mick Jagger, Lou Reed and Truman Capote. Warhol became the manager of the influential New York rock band The Velvet Underground in 1965.

On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas, one of the Factory regulars, shot Warhol and nearly killed him. She entered his studio and fired three shots. Although the first two rounds missed, her third shot sent a bullet through Warhol's left lung, spleen, stomach, liver, esophagus and right lung. Solanas then turned the gun on a companion of Warhol, injuring his thigh. Although Warhol survived these injuries, he never fully recovered. Solanas later explained that "he had too much control over my life."

In 1970s and 1980s he mainly made prints of famous people such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Besides being a painter, Warhol also made movies. Between 1963 and 1968, he made more than sixty films. His most famous one is Sleep (1963), which shows a man sleeping for eight hours. The character of Warhol has also been played by David Bowie and Jared Harris in the films Basquiat and I Shot Andy Warhol, respectively.

Warhol used to socialize at Serendipity, a club in New York City. The Andy Warhol Museum is located in the North Shore district of Pittsburgh, PA. It is the largest American art museum dedicated to a single artist. Warhol died in New York, NY, United States, following routine gall bladder surgery. He is buried at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery south of Pittsburgh.

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  • Andy Warhol
    Andy Warhol

    He invented pop-art!

  • Birth of Venus (after Botticelli).
    Birth of Venus (after Botticelli).

    Location:Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA

    In July of 1968, Warhol was shot two to three times by a woman named Valerie Solanis. He was seriously wounded and only narrowly escaped death. Warhol never recovered completely from his wounds and had to wear a bandage around his waist for the rest of his life. After this assassination attempt, the artist made a radical turn in his process of producing art. The philosopher of art mass production now spent most of his time making individual portraits of the rich and affluent of his time like Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson or Brigitte Bardot. Warhol said: "Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art."

  • Big Electric Chair.
    Big Electric Chair.

    Location:Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA

    The Electric Chair screen prints belong to the series known as 'American Death'. They are an example of the period in Andy Warhol's work when disasters in the USA - suicides, car accidents, murders attracted his interest. It is difficult to say whether this was an expression of his protest, a mere pose or a phenomenon he just took a fancy to. There is now question that these disturbing images carry considerable visual power. "They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." (Andy Warhol)

  • Double Elvis
    Double Elvis

    Location:Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA

    These screen prints show Elvis Presley as a gunslinger in a still from the 1960 western 'Flaming Star'. "I am a deeply superficial person." (Andy Warhol)

  • Vegetable Soup
    Vegetable Soup

    Location:Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA

    Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator and became a very successful one. His first exhibit was in the the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1962 where they showed his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, 1961 - 62. From then on, most of Warhol's best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. Back then , his creativity flowed from one central insight: that in a culture glutted with information, where most people experience most things through TV and print images that become boring because they are repeated again and again, there is role for affectless art. (From "American Visions", by Robert Hughes)

  • Marilyn Monroe.
    Marilyn Monroe.

    Location:Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA

    Andy Warhol produced an incredible amount of work. He used any modern production method he could get hold of and he called his studio 'The Factory'. He painted, silk-screened, sculptured and made films. Obsessed with fame, he drew many famous people to The Factory. For many, Warhol was a work of art himself, reflecting back the basic desires of an consumerist American culture. He saw fame as the pinnacle of modern consumerism. His oft-repeated statement that "every person will be world-famous for fifteen minutes" was an important insight into the state of society. "Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches." (Andy Warhol)

Learning art through great artists and their paintings is fun and exciting. Our friend and resident artist Stefan Mager has kindly given this introduction to the art world.

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