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Pop Artist Andy Warhol


Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928. In 1945 at the age of 17 he studied pictorial design at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh. Upon graduation, Warhol moved to New York where he found steady work as a commercial artist. He worked as a successful and distinguished illustrator for several magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker. He also did advertising and window displays for several retail stores includeing Bonwit Teller and I. Miller. Andy Warhols first assignment was for Glamour magazine for an article titled "Success is a Job in New York."
Throughout the 1950s, Warhol gloried in great success as a commercial artist. He won several awards from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Andy Warhol shortened his name from Warhola to Warhol. In 1952, Warhol's first show was at the Hugo Gallery, exhibiting Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote. Warhol's work was exhibited in several other venues, including his first group show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1956.
The 1960s was an extremely prolific decade for Warhol. Warhol soon recognize the importance of the mass media and took his early material from comic strips and commercial advertisements which he found in tabloids like The National Inquirer and The Daily News. Warhol created many paintings that remain icons of 20th-century art, such as the Campbell's Soup Cans, Disasters and Marilyns. At first Warhol concentrated on hand painted subjects of mass consumption. Warhol used a projector to put the images on canvas. He made it plain and simple and therefore was able to create the icons of Pop Art. Warhol made several 16mm films which have become underground classics such as Chelsea Girls, Empire and Blow Job. In 1968, Valerie Solanis, founder and sole member of SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) walked into Warhol's studio, known as the Factory, and shot the artist. The attack was nearly fatal.

In 1962, he began to experiment with silkscreening images onto painted canvas, a technique that allowed him to repeat a subject almost an infinite number of times. His series with Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty, Natalie Wood and other stars. In 1963, Warhol said in an interview that he wanted to work like a machine.

The start of the 1970s Warhol began publishing Interview magazine and renewed his focus on painting. Works created in this decade include Maos, Skulls, Hammer and Sickles, Torsos and Shadows and many commissioned portraits. Warhol also published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and Back Again). Firmly established as a major 20th-century artist and international celebrity, Warhol exhibited his work extensively in museums and galleries around the world.

He started the 1980s with the publication of POPism: The Warhol '60s and with exhibitions of Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century and the Retrospectives and Reversal series. He also created two cable television shows, Andy Warhol's TV (1982) and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes for MTV (1986). He also engaged in a series of collaborations with younger artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Keith Haring.

Following routine gall bladder surgery, Andy Warhol died on the 22nd of February 1987. In 1989, the Museum of Modern Art in New York showed a major retrospective of his works. Five years later, the Andy Warhol Museum opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



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