Sunday, October 1, 2017

Peyton St. George- Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol by Peyton St. George

      Following the death of Andy Warhol (born August 6, 1928) at 6:32 a.m. on February 22, 1987 due to a sudden post-operative cardiac arrhythmia, his work became known everywhere. Warhol's use of different perceptions and how we view the world in his contemporary paintings, photography, video, and computer art have been related to the ideals of American consumerism. Some of his most known works include the Campbell's Soup Cans, Disasters, Brillo Boxes, Jackies, Marilyns, Flowers, Maos, Hammer and Sickles, Skulls, Rorschachs, and Self-Portraits. Each piece of art contains symbols easily recognized universally by society relating to the pop culture at the time. Warhol was a leader in the visual art movement known as pop art, which emerged in the late 1950's and created a new era of art not only through paintings/drawings, but through graphic design as well. I chose Andy Warhol as my artist due to his out of the ordinary pop art using contrasting colors and the complexity of his pieces using the simplest of objects. He is also known for doing the same piece dozens of time to compose of one final piece, this is due to his repetitive schedule day after day including going to mass each morning. His religious pieces were released a lot closer to his death.

Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962
The original Soup Cans exhibit was done as if the cans would be seen on the grocery store shelf, which is how Warhol became inspired to repeat them. Warhol then arranged them in chronological order from which each flavor was released starting with tomato in 1897. While this piece represents the mass production of the Campbell's advertisement, Warhol hand-painted each and every one, hand stamping the bottom edge of each can. He carefully reproduced an identical image across each can, his reasoning: "I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for 20 years, I guess, the same thing over and over again."

Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) 1963
This piece depicts a dead body mangled in the interior of a silver car immediately following an accident, printed by Warhol at age 35 as a part of the Death and Disaster series. This painting is seen as a "film erase", when the film ruptures during projection. Warhol was known as the "eye of the storm", being able to project his immense feelings into his works yet be completely unaffected by them. He remained calm in the midst of his times by using art to portray his emotions. This painting was sold for $105 million and has only been seen in public once over the last 26 years. 
Marilyn Diptych, 1962
Shortly after Marilyn's death on August 5th, 1962 Warhol began depicting her in the Marilyn Diptych. This piece is a silkscreen painting consisting of 50 images, all taken from the 1953 film Niagara. Warhol's reasoning for this piece was to capture the image of Marilyn's "beautiful face" especially following her recent death while using the simple method reproducing the same image with silkscreening. Half of this piece was heavily pigmented, with the other side in black and white. This portrays the stages between Marilyn's life and death, which is also related to the Christian work done by Warhol using the Virgin Mary on one side and the crucified Jesus on the other. This comparison "references the idolization of Marilyn Monroe..."


Warhol, Andy, and Ernst Beyeler. Andy Warhol: Series and Singles. Fondation Beyeler, 2000.

Andy Warhol. Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, 1965.

“Andy Warhol's Marilyn Prints.” Color Vision &Amp; Art, WebExhibits,

Reed, Alycia Faith. "Fifteen minutes and then some: an examination of Andy Warhol's extraordinary commercial success." MA (Master of Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2012.

“Andy Warhol.”,

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