You are in Artists > Andy Warhol
Died: 22nd February 1987
Andy Warhol, born Andrew Warhola, spearheaded the Pop art movement and remains one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Before establishing himself as an artist, Warhol was a respected and successful commercial illustrator whose clients included The New York Times and Tiffany & Co. Warhol graduated with a BFA in Pictorial Design from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh (now Carnegie Mellon University).
Warhol began painting and silk screening ubiquitous and iconic symbols of American popular culture, including celebrities like Elziabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley, which were inspired by a life-long obsession with Hollywood. Throughout his career, Warhol would continue to juxtapose accessible pop-culture subjects and high art. In 1963, Warhol began experimenting with film, creating works like "Sleep" and "The Chelsea Girls." His oeuvre of videos would number in the thousands at the time of his death. Warhol's forays into sculpture were first exhibited in 1964, consisting of enlarged replicas of Brillo boxes and Kellog's cereal packaging. In 1965, Warhol became the first artist to exhibit videos as art. Meanwhile, Warhol was transforming his studio, dubbed The Factory, into a social and cultural salon frequented by celebrities, drag queens, and artists alike. There, Warhol continued experimenting with film, screen prints, sculpture and photography, in a sense manufacturing his works with the help of a slew of offbeat assistants. He referred to himself as “a machine” and the Factory as a means of producing his art. His coterie of glamorous, eccentric collaborators were his "superstars." Art, for Warhol, was as much a social activity as it was a commercial endeavor.
In a collaboration with the Velvet Underground, Warhol brought his traveling performance, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, across the country. The psychedelic light shows which were integral to these performances are often credited as being precursors to similar light shows later used in nightclubs. In the early 70s, Warhol designed several album covers, including the Rolling Stones' iconic "Sticky Fingers" cover. Warhol's art reflected the subculture he was a mainstay in--socializing with the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Truman Capote and regularly frequenting clubs like Studio 54. His work draws inspiration from all aspects of mainstream and marginalized cultures--notably queer culture--collaborating at times with other artists like Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Even in his lifetime, Warhol's imagery and self-marketing persona became facets of actual mainstream culture. Television shows like "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" and "Andy Warhol's TV" were aired on MTV in the 80s. Warhol re-envisioned the future of our capitalistic society as one in which “everyone will be famous for 15 Minutes” a quasi-prediction enabled by the omnipresent role and possibilities of mass-media. Warhol once said that “an artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have,” yet the enormous appeal and cultural significance of his art has ironically made it perhaps the most coveted body of work in the second half of the 20th century, after Picasso's. Warhol remains a strong cultural influence, forever changing our conceptions of media, art and its junction. Warhol passed away on February 22, 1987 and his estate was auctioned off to benefit the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, established by Warhol for the advancement of creative culture.
Watch a documentary on Andy Warhol from the PBS American Masters series:
Watch an excerpt of an interview with Andy Warhol:(read less)
Techniques & Media: Film and Video Art, Painting, Print
Inspirations & Key Themes: Celebrity, Mass media, Media, pop culture
Employed : George Condo
Influenced : Seth Indigo Carnes , Maurizio Cattelan , Shepard Fairey , Keith Haring , Martin Kippenberger , Nate Lowman , Adam McEwen , Steve McQueen , Takashi Murakami , Kara Walker , Ai Weiwei , Christopher Wool
Influenced by : Jasper Johns , René Magritte
Worked with : Jean-Michel Basquiat , Francesco Clemente