Andy Warhol


Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928February 22, 1987) was an American painter, film-maker, publisher, and a major figure in the pop art movement.

Warhol was born Andek Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, to immigrants of Ruthenian ethnicity from the village of Mikova, Austria-Hungary (northeast Slovakia). 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 moved to New York City and began a successful career in magazine illustration and advertising. He became well-known mainly for his whimsical ink drawings of shoes done in a loose, blotted style.

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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

The Factory, located at 221 East 47th Street in Manhattan, was Warhol's studio from 1963 to 1967. It moved to 33 Union Square West at the end of 1967 when the East 47th building was torn down. The Factory was the hip hangout for artsy types, amphetamine users, and the Warhol superstars. This is where Warhol would make his silkscreens. The interior was covered with tin foil and silver paint, and silver "clouds" on the ceiling were affected by using large, helium-filled, pillow-shaped balloons.

The Factory became a meeting place of artists and would-be artists such as Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Truman Capote. Warhol became the manager of Reed's influential New York rock band The Velvet Underground in 1965. Several of Reed's songs are related to the people who gathered at The Factory, notably his best-known solo song Walk on the Wild Side, which makes reference to several of the superstars.

On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas, a Factory regular, entered Warhol's studio and fired three shots at Warhol, nearly killing him. Although the first two rounds missed, the third passed through Warhol's left lung, spleen, stomach, liver, esophagus, and right lung. Solanas then turned the gun on a companion of Warhol, Mario Amaya, injuring his thigh. Although Warhol survived these injuries, he never fully recovered. Solanas later explained that "he had too much control over my life." The story of Valerie Solanas was made into the 1996 movie I Shot Andy Warhol starring Lili Taylor and directed by Mary Harron.

Warhol's friend Lou Reed, for one, never forgave Solanas for the attack. In 1990 he recorded the album Songs for Drella with fellow Velvet Underground alumnus John Cale, which contained the song "I Believe". In it, Reed sang "I believe/I would've pulled the switch on her myself." In other songs on the album, Reed expresses his regrets about not having paid a lot of attention to Warhol in the time before his death.

Mr. Warhol himself ultimately forgave Valerie for shooting him and later satirized the whole event in a subsequent movie of his, calling a group similar to Solanas' S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men), P.I.G. – Politically Involved Girlies.

In the 1970s and 1980s he mainly made prints of famous people such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Iconic figures and famous people are a general theme in Warhol's work.

Besides his influence as a painter, Warhol was known as a highly proficient filmmaker. Between 1963 and 1968, he made more than sixty films. His most famous one, Sleep (1963), shows a man (John Giorno, who had a relationship with Warhol) sleeping for eight hours. In the 35 minute film Blow Job (1963), he shows the face of *David Perlman receiving fellatio. Warhol's character has also been represented in several motion pictures. He has been portrayed by Crispin Glover, David Bowie, and Jared Harris, in The Doors, Basquiat, and I Shot Andy Warhol, respectively. He also appeared as a bartender in The Cars' music video "Hello Again."

Warhol created the fashion magazine Interview that is still published today. The loopy title script on the cover is thought to be either his own handwriting or his mother's Julia Warhola, who would often do text work for his early commercial pieces.

Warhol "wrote" several books.

Warhol used to socialize at Serendipity and Studio 54, nightclubs in New York City. One of Warhol's favorite pop bands was Blondie; at one of the shows on their final tour in 1982 he also "fell in love" with both the music and the pretty looks of their opening act, Duran Duran. He maintained a friendship with the band (and especially keyboardist Nick Rhodes) for many years.

The Andy Warhol Museum is located in the North Shore district of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the largest American art museum dedicated to a single artist, holding more than 4 000 works by the artist himself.

Among others, Andy's brother, John Warhola, and the Warhol Foundation in New York, established in 1991 the Warhol Family Museum of Modern Art in the remote town of Medzilaborce, Slovakia. Andy's mother, Julia Warhola, was born 15 kilometres away in the village Mikova.

The Museum houses several originals donated mainly by the Andy Warhol Foundation in New York and also personal items donated by Warhol's relatives.

Warhol was generally regarded as quiet and a meticulous observer or even a voyeur. More than one person jokingly referred to him as "death warmed over." He had a keen eye for art in general and furthered the Duchamp-esque notion that if you simply point at something and call it "art," it is. He was openly gay, rare for celebrities of his stature at the time, and paid tribute to many male friends and workers in his private art and collections. A meticulous collector, he organized almost every piece of paper, fan mail—after taking off the stamps—and magazine related to his fame along with personal notes, gay pornography and found artifacts into hundreds of numbered boxes and set them aside, never to open them again. Warhol referred to these boxes as his "time capsule". Many exist today and are available for research at his Pittsburgh museum.

Warhol would regularly volunteer at the homeless shelters in New York, particularly during the busier times of the year. He described himself as a religious person, not fully accepted by religion because of his homosexuality. Many of his works contain almost hidden religious themes or subjects.

Warhol died in New York City following routine gall bladder surgery at the age of 58. Warhol was afraid of hospitals and doctors, so he delayed having his recurring gall bladder problems checked.

He is interred at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery south of Pittsburgh. Fellow artist Yoko Ono was among the speakers at his funeral.

After his death it took Sotheby's several days to auction his estate, for a total gross amount of over 20 million dollars.

Outside of the art world, Andy Warhol is best known for saying that "In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes." Over the course of his lifetime the phrase became popular enough to enter the public space. He later told reporters, humorously, "My new line is, 'In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous.'"


  • L'Amour (1972)
  • Blue Movie (1969)
  • Lonesome Cowboys (1969)
  • San Diego Surf (1968)
  • The Loves of Ondine (1968)
  • The Andy Warhol Story (1967)
  • Tiger Morse (1967)
  • Four Stars (1967)
  • Imitation of Christ (1967)
  • Nude Restaurant, The (1967)
  • Bike Boy (1967)
  • I, a Man (1967)
  • Ari and Mario (1966)
  • Hedy (1966)
  • Kiss the Boot (1966)
  • Milk (1966)
  • Salvador Dal (1966)
  • Shower (1966)
  • Sunset (1966)
  • Superboy (1966)
  • Closet, The (1966)
  • Chelsea Girls (1966)
  • Beard, The (1966)
  • More Milk, Evette (1966)
  • Outer and Inner Space (1966)
  • Velvet Underground and Nico, The (1966)
  • Beauty #2 (1965)
  • Bitch (1965)
  • Camp (1965)
  • Harlot (1965)
  • Horse (1965)
  • Kitchen (1965)
  • The Life of Juanita Castro (1965)
  • My Hustler (1965)
  • Poor Little Rich Girl (1965)
  • Restaurant (1965)
  • Space (1965)
  • Taylor Mead's Ass (1965)
  • Vinyl (1965)
  • Screen Test (1965)
  • Screen Test #2 (1965)
  • 13 Most Beautiful Women (1964)
  • Batman Dracula (1964)
  • Clockwork (1964)
  • Couch (1964)
  • Drunk (1964)
  • Empire (1964)
  • The End of Dawn (1964)
  • Lips (1964)
  • Mario Banana I (1964)
  • Mario Banana II (1964)
  • Messy Lives (1964)
  • Naomi and Rufus Kiss (1964)
  • Tarzan and Jane Regained... Sort of (1964)
  • Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys, The (1964)
  • Blow Job (1963)
  • Eat (1963)
  • Haircut (1963)
  • Kiss (1963)
  • Naomi's Birthday Party (1963)
  • Sleep (1963)

External links


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