Birthday: August 6, 1928
Died At Age: 58
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Andrew Warhola
Born Country: United States
Born in: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Famous as: Artist
Quotes By Andy Warhol
Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males
father: Andrej Warhola, Andrij Warhola
mother: Júlia, Julia Warhola
siblings: John, John Warhola, Paul, Paul Warhola
Died on: February 22, 1987
place of death: New York Hospital, New York, United States
U.S. State: Pennsylvania
Diseases & Disabilities: Asperger's Syndrome, Autism
City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
education: Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie Mellon University)
Who was Andy Warhol?
Andy Warhol was an American artist, producer, and director. He revolutionized art in the United States of America during the 20th century. While the world was already familiar with art forms, such as painting, Andy introduced a new concept named ‘Pop Art.’ His illustrations received a lot of appreciation from the public. However, he was also criticized by many for commercializing art. Few of his famous works were made for famous brands, such as ‘Coca Cola’ and ‘Campbell Soup.’ Without merely sticking to his paintings, Warhol ventured into cinema too. Of the 60 movies that he directed, most of them were considered offbeat and unconventional. Warhol’s legacy continues to live in the world of art even today. During his time, he started a couple of institutions to keep the art form alive. Many of his creative works have been displayed in various exhibitions across America. His works continue to serve as a great source of inspiration for many American youngsters and others around the world. ‘The Andy Warhol Museum,’ located in Pittsburgh, speaks volumes about America’s love and admiration for this great artist.
Childhood & Early Life
Andy Warhol was born on August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, to Julia and Ondrej Warhola. He was the fourth child born to the couple. Andy had two elder brothers, Pavol and John Warhola.
During his childhood, Andy was plagued by various health disorders, such as sydenham's chorea and scarlet fever. Since he was frequently diagnosed for ailments, Andy started developing a sense of fear towards hospitals and doctors.
Unlike most kids his age, Andy was a loner and didn’t have many friends. The reason was his absence from school due to his poor health.
Andy was bedridden for a major part of his childhood. His parents and brothers often used to entertain Andy at home. He credits this turbulent period of his childhood for shaping his personality.
After the struggle, Andy finally managed to graduate from ‘Schenley High School’ in 1945. He later moved to the ‘Carnegie Institute of Technology’ to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. He specialized in pictorial design during his four-year course.
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Andy relocated to New York almost immediately after completing his degree in 1949. He started his career in advertising and magazine illustration. His ink drawings for various shoe advertisements received a lot of attention within New York’s advertising circles.
The growing reputation of Andy Warhol caught the eyes of the music label ‘RCA Records.’ Andy and few other artists were hired by the music label to design the covers of the label’s albums. He was one of the very few artists to adopt the ‘Silk Screen’ printmaking process in the 1950s.
Andy, who had earned enough money by 1960 through his advertisement commitments, purchased a four-storeyed building, so that he could experiment his art on the walls of the dwelling. He then came up with an unconventional style that helped him receive appreciation.
During the 1960s, Andy made iconic illustrations of a variety of objects, such as electric chairs, ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ and ‘Coca-Cola’ bottles. He also painted famous celebrities like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor.
During this time, Andy founded his own studio named ‘The Factory’ in New York. Many artists, such as writers and musicians, joined hands with Andy to become a part of his new initiative.
After working as an illustrator for more than a decade, Andy ventured into filmmaking in 1963. In a span of five years, he made around 60 films. Noteworthy works amongst these are ‘Sleep,’ ‘Blow Job,’ ‘Empire,’ and ‘Eat.’
The 1970s was a quiet decade for Andy Warhol as his works didn’t achieve much success as compared to the previous decade. However, he managed to earn many influential patrons during this period. Few of these famous names include John Lennon, Diana Ross, Mick Jagger, and ‘The Shah of Iran’ Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
In 1973, he created a portrait of the Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, which went on to become a world-renowned piece of art. Six years later, Andy, along with his close friend Stuart Pivar, founded the ‘New York Academy of Art.’
Andy was hired by the automobile giant ‘BMW’ in 1979 to paint their supercar ‘BMW M1.’ Andy was the best choice the company had made since he painted the car all by himself instead of depending on other technicians.
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In 1980, Andy exhibited 10 of his portraits at the ‘Jewish Museum’ in New York. This collection was named ‘The Jewish Geniuses.’
In 1984, he was hired by the famous collector and gallerist Alexander Iolas to work on a painting exhibition, which was to be held at Milan. Andy was asked by Iolas to produce something similar to Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper.’
Apart from being remembered for his works on numerous print advertisements for various products, he is also well-known for his films. His most noted celluloid work is the 1966 experimental film ‘Chelsea Girls.’ The movie was his first commercial success. ‘Chelsea Girls’ was known for its unconventional ‘split-screen’ visuals, which went on to become a trend-setter.
Awards & Achievements
In 2002, the ‘U.S Postal Service’ issued an 18-inch stamp as a tribute to Andy Warhol’s achievements.
A few years after his death, ‘The Andy Warhol Museum’ was opened in Pittsburgh in his honor. A whopping $12 million was spent to keep the artist’s works alive.
Personal Life & Legacy
Andy lost his father at the age of 13, at a time when he was already going through a lot of turmoil because of his health conditions. He was quite attached to his mother since his early days, and often called himself a ‘mama’s boy.’
Raised as a ‘Ruthenian Catholic’ by his parents, Andy continued being religious even during the later years of his life.
In 1968, radical feminist Valerie Solanas tried assassinating Andy Warhol, but the attempt backfired. Soranos was a member of Andy’s organization, ‘The Factory.’ The assassination attempt almost killed Andy. The attempt had a great negative impact on Andy for the rest of his life.
Andy Warhol was gay. His attempt to exhibit few of his nude male paintings at a fine art gallery failed as the organizers felt that the paintings were too erotic and explicit.
Warhol succumbed to cardiac arrhythmia on February 22, 1987, in a New York hospital, at the age of 59. A few days before his death, Warhol had undergone a gallbladder surgery. Andy’s family sued the hospital authorities for their negligence, which supposedly caused his death. His body was interred in Pittsburgh by his brothers.
Andy Warhol has been a subject of great curiosity for filmmakers. His life has been a source of inspiration for documentaries, such as ‘Absolut Warhola,’ ‘Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film,’ ‘Andy Warhol: Double Denied,’ and ‘Andy Warhol's People Factory.’