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Warhol, Andy (1928-1987)
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Andy Warhol was one of the most important artists in the Pop art movement in America. Warhol became as famous as many of the celebrities he portrayed in his popular screen prints. Among his many popular quotes and comments he stated famously that "In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in 1928 to Slovakian parents. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Warhol studied Commercial Art at the Carnegie Mellon University (formerly known as the Carnegie Institute of Technology) from 1945 to 1949, majoring in Pictorial Design. He then moved then moved to New York to begin a career in illustration and advertising.

Warhol achieved success as a commercial artist during the 1950s, achieving commendations from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He began to become quite well known for his whimsical ink drawings of shoes. Warhol had work published in popular and widely magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker. He also created window displays for several popular retail shop window fronts. During this time Warhol also began exhibiting his work in fine art galleries and managed to exhibit in a group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1956.

"Business art is the step that comes after Art. I started as a commercial artist, and I want to finish as a business artist." Andy Warhol

During the 1960s Andy Warhol produced many of his most famous and iconic images. He had now moved into "the Factory", a large building located on Union Square in New York City where him and his team of hired workers were mass producing screen prints of popular culture. Famous works from the period included the Cambells Soup Cans, Coke Bottles, Disaster paintings and pop icon portraits such as Marilyn Monroe. Warhol also started making 16mm films during the 60s with titles like "Chelsea Girls" and "Blow Job".

The Factory as he called it was not just the working space for the artist and his workers but was also a meeting place for all kinds of creative and talented people. Artists, musicians, writers and actors frequented the Factory with such notables as Mick Jagger and Truman Capote stopping by. During one nearly fateful day in 1968 one of the Factory regulars shot Andy Warhol in the stomach injuring several internal organs. A deranged militant feminist Valerie Solanas fired 3 bullets at Warhol wounding him only once. Warhol survived but never fully recovered from his injuries.

Andy Warhol was extensively exhibiting his works in well know art galleries and museums around the world in the 70s and 80s. His celebrity was almost as great as his famous portraits of Mick Jagger, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. He published "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and back again)", started the "Interview" fashion magazine (still published today), and worked on several television projects including "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" produced for MTV. Warhol also collaborated with several up and coming painters including Keith Haring, Francesco Clemente, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

In 1987 on February 22 Andy Warhol died. After a non-threatening gall bladder operation complications arose and Warhol passed away. His funeral was his final act of celebrity with more than 2000 people attending it. Many celebrities, artists, musicians and influential people attended, with Yoko Ono among those who spoke at his funeral.

"Death means a lot of money, honey. Death can really make you look like a star." Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was a methodical and obsessive person with a great love of art, wealth and fame. He amassed a great fortune during his life time and achieved fame like no painter before him had achieved. He merged art, wealth and fame producing the Pop Artist Andy Warhol.

In 1994 the Andy Warhol Museum opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

No other artist is as much identified with Pop Art as Andy Warhol. The media called him the Prince of Pop.


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Warhol Foundation Website

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