Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s work has always stood out to me, with its’ bright colors and creativity from everyday objects. He is commonly considered the first all American Pop artist. He has worked in several media including, oil, ink, paint, crayon, and pencil.

Andrew Warhola was born on August 6, 1928. Born to Czech immigrant parents in Pittsburgh, Andrew’s family struggled. As a child Andrew was diagnosed with Chorea, an illness of the nervous system. He was the first in his family to graduate from college. He graduated from Carnegie Tech in 1949. After he graduated, he moved to New York to find work in the arts and design industry. During one of his early jobs, the “a” was accidently left off of his name, which led to him being known as Andy Warhol. He was quickly successful commercially, but struggled to sell work as an individual artist. In 1962 a gallery owner advised a depressed Warhol that common images sparked interest, and his career took off. Perhaps Warhol’s most famous image is the “ Big Torn Campbell’s Soup Can ( Vegetable Beef)”. He created the piece as a part of a series of images in 1962. The series consisted of thirty two different cans and designs. People created there own interpretations of the pieces and noticed details, such as exterior wrapping damage, but a perfect can underneath. Warhol found it interesting that simple images, especially in repetition, could attract so much attention. He created the soup series using synthetic polymer paint on canvas. This was the last collection that he hand painted,before he began using silk screen.

Also in 1962, Warhol continued the idea of common images, and drew money. In addition to the one pictured, he also made silkscreen repetitive images of the dollar. His idea was that people usually value money for what it can buy them, but in this case, the value of his image was worth far more that the money depicted. The artwork was created using felt tip, pencil,and crayons, on paper.

Between 1963 and 1968 Warhol continued his theme, but instead using silkscreen. This helped mass produce his artwork. During that time he produced several sculptures, and paintings, and over sixty films. He became a priceless brand, and glamorously unique figure in New York. During the Seventies, his career slowed, but reemerged in the eighties, when he produced another famous piece; “Life Savers”.

This was his drawn version of an ad. This was created in 1985, during the time when his success took off again. He died in 1987 after gallbladder surgery. Throughout his life he remained an introvert, and displayed it in a series of portraits made around the time of his death. Andy Warhol is still considered a major contributor to American art and design.

    • Katz, Jonathan. Andy Warhol. New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publications, 1993. Print.
    • Copplestone, Trewin. The Life and Works of Andy Warhol. Bristol: Paragon Book Service, 1995. Print.
    • Lanchner, Carolyn. Andy Warhol. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, 2008. Print.

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