About us
Artists Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol Photo

Andy Warhol

American Painter, Draftsman, Filmmaker, and Printmaker

Movements and Styles: Pop Art, Video Art, Postmodernism

Born: August 6, 1928 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Died: February 22, 1987 - New York, New York

Andy Warhol Timeline

Quotes

"Buying is more American than thinking, and I'm as American as they come."
Andy Warhol
"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
"In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes."
Andy Warhol
"The reason I'm painting this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do."
Andy Warhol
"And the few times in my life when I've gone on television, I've been so jealous of the host on the show that I haven't been able to talk. As soon as the TV cameras turn on, all I can think is, 'I want my own show ... I want my own show.'"
Andy Warhol
"A whole day of life is like a whole day of television. TV never goes off the air once it starts for the day, and I don't either. At the end of the day the whole day will be a movie. A movie made for TV."
Andy Warhol
"I'm the type who'd be happy not going anywhere as long as I was sure I knew exactly what was happening at the places I wasn't going to. I'm the type who'd like to sit home and watch every party that I'm invited to on a monitor in my bedroom."
Andy Warhol
"It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it."
Andy Warhol
"I don't believe people die. They just go uptown. To Bloomingdales. They just take longer to get back."
Andy Warhol
"A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it."
Andy Warhol
"Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art ... Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art."
Andy Warhol

"How can you say one style is better than another? You ought to be able to be an Abstract Expressionist next week, or a Pop artist, or a realist, without feeling you've given up something.. I think that would be so great, to be able to change styles. And I think that's what's is going to happen, that's going to be the whole new scene."

Andy Warhol Signature

Synopsis

Andy Warhol was the most successful and highly paid commercial illustrator in New York even before he began to make art destined for galleries. Nevertheless, his screenprinted images of Marilyn Monroe, soup cans, and sensational newspaper stories, quickly became synonymous with Pop art. He emerged from the poverty and obscurity of an Eastern European immigrant family in Pittsburgh, to become a charismatic magnet for bohemian New York, and to ultimately find a place in the circles of High Society. For many his ascent echoes one of Pop art's ambitions, to bring popular styles and subjects into the exclusive salons of high art. His crowning achievement was the elevation of his own persona to the level of a popular icon, representing a new kind of fame and celebrity for a fine artist.

Key Ideas

Warhol's early commercial illustration has recently been acclaimed as the arena in which he first learned to manipulate popular tastes. His drawings were often comic, decorative, and whimsical, and their tone is entirely different from the cold and impersonal mood of his Pop art.
Much debate still surrounds the iconic screenprinted images with which Warhol established his reputation as a Pop artist in the early 1960s. Some view his Death and Disaster series, and his Marilyn pictures, as frank expressions of his sorrow at public events. Others view them as some of the first expressions of 'compassion fatigue' - the way the public loses the ability to sympathize with events from which they feel removed. Still others think of his pictures as screens - placed between us and horrifying events - which attempt to register and process shock.
Although artists had drawn on popular culture throughout the 20th century, Pop art marked an important new stage in the breakdown between high and low art forms. Warhol's paintings from the early 1960s were important in pioneering these developments, but it is arguable that the diverse activities of his later years were just as influential in expanding the implications of Pop art into other spheres, and further eroding the borders between the worlds of high art and popular culture.
Although Warhol would continue to create paintings intermittently throughout his career, in 1965 he "retired" from the medium to concentrate on making experimental films. Despite years of neglect, these films have recently attracted widespread interest, and Warhol is now seen as one of the most important filmmakers of the period, a forefather of independent film.
Critics have traditionally seen Warhol's career as going into decline in 1968, after he was shot by Valerie Solanas. Valuing his early paintings above all, they have ignored the activities that absorbed his attention in later years - parties, collecting, publishing, and painting commissioned portraits. Yet some have begun to think that all these ventures make up Warhol's most important legacy because they prefigure the diverse interests, activities, and interventions that occupy artists today.

Biography

Andy Warhol Photo

Childhood

Andy was the third child born to Czechoslovakian immigrant parents, Ondrej and Ulja (Julia) Warhola, in a working class neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He had two older brothers, John and Paul. As a child, Andy was smart and creative. His mother, a casual artist herself, encouraged his artistic urges by giving him his first camera at nine years old. Warhol was known to suffer from a nervous disorder that would frequently keep him at home, and, during these long periods, he would listen to the radio and collect pictures of movie stars around his bed. It was this exposure to current events at a young age that he later said shaped his obsession with pop culture and celebrities. When he was 14, his father passed away, leaving the family money to be specifically used towards higher learning for one of the boys. It was decided by the family that Andy would benefit the most from a college education.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Andy Warhol Biography Continues

Important Art by Andy Warhol

The below artworks are the most important by Andy Warhol - that both overview the major creative periods, and highlight the greatest achievements by the artist.

Campbell's Soup Cans (1962)
Artwork Images

Campbell's Soup Cans (1962)

Artwork description & Analysis: By the 1960s, the New York art world was in a rut, the very original and popular canvases of the Abstract Expressionist of the 1940s and '50s have become cliche. Warhol was one of the artists that felt the need to bring back imagery into his work. The gallery owner and interior designer Muriel Latow gave Warhol the idea of painting soup cans, when she suggested to him that he should paint objects that people use every day (it is rumored that Warhol ate the soup for lunch every single day).

Warhol was an extremely successful consumer ad designer. He used the techniques of his trade to create an image that is both easily recognizable, but also visually stimulating. Why have 32, very ordinary canvasses take up a huge wall of an expensive gallery space? Consumer goods and ad imagery were flooding the lives of Americans with the prosperity of that age and Warhol set out to subtly recreate that abbundance, via images found in advertising. He recreated on canvas the experience of being in a well-stocked supermarket. So, Warhol is credited with envisioning a new type of art that glorified (and also criticized) the consumption habits of his contemporaries and consumers today.

Synthetic polymer paint on thirty-two canvases - The Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Coca-Cola (3) (1962)
Artwork Images

Coca-Cola (3) (1962)

Artwork description & Analysis: "I just paint things I always thought were beautiful, things you use every day and never think about." Warhol's statement epitomizes his ethos; his works put ordinary items front and center. This idea applies the hand-painted portrait of a Coca-Cola bottle. Another challenge to the domination of Abstract Expressionism, Warhol's Coca-Cola is equal in size to many of the popular canvases of the time (6ft x 5ft) but is devoid of their abstractions. However, there are some other similarities here. As in Robert Motherwell's popular Stations of the Cross series of works, Coca-Cola is comprised of a large, black mass on a white background. The bottle jumps out at the viewer; demanding the kind of attention Motherwell's profound canvases received - yet now the sense of irony reigns.

Casein on cotton - Private Collection

Gold Marilyn Monroe (1962)
Artwork Images

Gold Marilyn Monroe (1962)

Artwork description & Analysis: After her sudden death from an overdose of sleeping pills in August 1962, superstar Marilyn Monroe's life, career, and tragedy became a worldwide obsession. Warhol, being infatuated with fame and pop culture, obtained a black-and-white publicity photo of her (from her 1953 for her film Niagara) and used the photo to create several series of images. A common idea to all the Marilyn works was that her image was reproduced over and over again as one would find it reprinted in newspapers and magazines at the time. After viewing dozens, or hundreds of such images, a viewer stops seeing a person depicted, but is left an icon of popular, consumer culture. The image (and the person) becomes another cereal box on the supermarket shelf, one of hundreds of boxes - which are all exactly the same.

In the Gold Marilyn Monroe, Warhol further plays on the idea of an icon, placing Marilyn's face on a very large golden-colored background. The background is remeniscent of Byzantine religious icons that are the central focus in Orthodox faiths to this day. Only the instead of a god, we are looking at an image (that becomes a bit garish upon closer inspection) of a woman that rose to fame and died in horrible tragedy. Warhol subtly comments on our society, and its glorification of celebraties to the level of the divine. Here again the Pop artist uses common objects and images to make very pointed insights into values and surroundings of his contemporaries.

Silkscreen - Museum of Modern Art, New York

More Andy Warhol Artwork and Analysis:



By submitting the above you agree to The Art Story privacy policy.

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Andy Warhol
Interactive chart with Andy Warhol's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Robert RauschenbergRobert Rauschenberg
Jasper JohnsJasper Johns
Marcel DuchampMarcel Duchamp
Frank StellaFrank Stella
John CageJohn Cage

Personal Contacts

Larry RiversLarry Rivers
Leo CastelliLeo Castelli
Philip PearlsteinPhilip Pearlstein

Movements

DadaDada
Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism
Neo-DadaNeo-Dada
British Pop ArtBritish Pop Art

Influences on Artist
Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Years Worked: 1952 - 1987
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Damien HirstDamien Hirst
Jeff KoonsJeff Koons
Stella VineStella Vine
Christopher WoolChristopher Wool
Gilbert and GeorgeGilbert and George

Personal Contacts

Lawrence AllowayLawrence Alloway
Jean-Michel BasquiatJean-Michel Basquiat
Francesco ClementeFrancesco Clemente
Keith HaringKeith Haring

Movements

Pop ArtPop Art
Installation ArtInstallation Art
Video ArtVideo Art
Neo-ExpressionismNeo-Expressionism

Useful Resources on Andy Warhol

Videos

Special Features

Books

Websites

Articles

More

Documentaries:

Andy Warhol- The Complete Picture ► 2:56:53 Andy Warhol- The Complete Picture

The definitive, carefully composed, 3 hour documentary. Art historians, family and friends join to put together a portrait of the artist
402k views

Warhol by Bailey ► 47:15 Warhol by Bailey

Documentary made by David Bailey, a contemporary. The film is an attempt to capture the spirit of Warhol using some of the techniques he has pioneered
33k views

Andy Warhol: A Master of the Modern Era ► 58:13 Andy Warhol: A Master of the Modern Era

Warhol's impact on the art world by British art critic Alastair Sooke
128k views

More Interesting Videos with Andy Warhol

artist features

Defining Modern Art

Take a look at the big picture of modern art, and Warhol's role in it.

The books and articles below constitute a bibliography of the sources used in the writing of this page. These also suggest some accessible resources for further research, especially ones that can be found and purchased via the internet.

biography

Warhol

By David Bourdon

Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixites Recomended resource

By Steven Watson

The Life and Death of Andy Warhol

By Victor Bockris

Andy Warhol Close Up

By Bob Colacello

More Interesting Books about Andy Warhol
The Andy Warhol Museum Recomended resource

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Andy Warhol Museum houses the largest collection of the artist's works

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Established in 1987, its purpose is for the advancement of the visual arts

Warholstars.com

Featuring Warhol's films, art and superstars

The Andy Warhol Family Album

Information on Andy's early life and family

Warhol as Filmmaker

By David Bourdon
Art in America
May/June 1971

Man for the Machine Recomended resource

By Robert Hughes
Time Magazine
May 17, 1971

The First Word on Pop

By Barbara A. MacAdam
Art News
November 2007

Much More Than Fifteen Minutes

By Tyler Maroney
Art News
January 2002

More Interesting Articles about Andy Warhol

interviews

Ric Burns interview of Andy Warhol for PBS

Inside Andy Warhol

By Ned Finkelstein
Cavalier Magazine
September 1966

in pop culture

Factory Girl, 2007

A movie directed by George Hickenlooper which focused on Edie Sedgwick, a socialite that was a close friend to Andy Warhol and also a Warholstar. The movie focuses on her and Andy's relationship.

I Shot Andy Warhol, 1996

Based on the true story of Valerie Solanas who was a 60s radical and ultimately shot Warhol.

If you see an error or typo, please:
tell us
Cite this page

Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
Available from:
[Accessed ]

Did we succeed in explaining the art to you?
If Yes, please tell others about us: