(Anecdotal, funny, frank, "POPism" is Warhol's personal vi...)
Anecdotal, funny, frank, "POPism" is Warhol's personal view of the Pop phenomenon in New York in the 1960's and a look back at the relationships, that made up the scene at "The Factory", including his relationship with Edie Sedgewick.
Andy Warhol was a Slovak-born American artist, designer, film director, author and producer. He was a leading exponent of the Pop Art movement of the 1960's, whose mass-produced art apotheosized the supposed banality of the commercial culture of the United States. He explored the relationship between artistic expression, advertising and celebrity culture, working in a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography and sculpture.
Andy's parents were working-class Lemko emigrants from Mikó, Austria-Hungary (present-day Miková, Slovakia).
Andy Warhol was born on August 6, 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. He was a son of Ondrej Warhola (Americanized as Andrew Warhola, Sr.) and Julia (Zavacká) Warhola. Andy had two older brothers, Paul (Pavol), born in 1923, and John (Ján), born in 1925. Paul's son, James Warhola, became a successful children's book illustrator.
Ondrej Warhola, Andy's father, emigrated to the United States in 1914, and his mother settled down there in 1921 after the death of Warhol's grandparents. Their family lived at 55 Beelen Street and later at 3252 Dawson Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Ondrej Warhola died in an accident, when Andy was just thirteen years old.
It was during the time, when Warhol was sick in bed, suffering from Chorea (also known as St. Vitus's Dance), that his mother, herself a skillful artist, gave him his first drawing lessons. Drawing soon became Warhol's favorite childhood pastime. He was also an avid fan of the movies, and when his mother bought him a camera at the age of nine, he took up photography as well, developing film in a makeshift darkroom he set up in their basement.
Warhol attended Holmes Elementary school, and took the free art classes, offered at the Carnegie Institute (now the Carnegie Museum of Art) in Pittsburgh. Warhol's father recognized his son's artistic talents and in his will he dictated, that his life savings go toward Warhol's college education.
In 1942, Andy Warhol began studying at Schenley High School. Upon his graduation from the educational establishment, in 1945, his intentions were to receive education in art at the University of Pittsburgh in the hope of becoming an art teacher, but his plans changed, and he enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology (present-day Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh to study pictorial design. While there, Warhol joined the campus Modern Dance Club and Beaux Arts Society. Besides, Andy acted as the art director of the student art magazine, "Cano", illustrating a cover in 1948 and a full-page interior illustration in 1949. It was in 1949, that Andy received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Carnegie Mellon University.
At the time, when Warhol attended Carnegie Mellon University, he served as the art director of the student art magazine "Cano", illustrating a cover in 1948 and a full-page interior illustration in 1949. These are believed to be his first two published artworks.
After graduation from the university in 1949, Warhol arrived in New York City, where he made a meager living in advertising display work. He took some of his drawings to "Glamour" magazine and received a commission to make drawings of shoes. They were published and admired, and then, in the 1950's, Warhol worked as a designer for shoe manufacturer - Israel Miller. His work appeared in "Vogue" and "Harper's Bazaar" magazines, and, in 1959, he exhibited his gold shoe drawings in a New York City gallery.
In 1960, Warhol began painting pictures with no commercial market in mind. In 1961, he debuted the concept of "pop art" - paintings, that focused on mass-produced commercial goods. He did a series on comic strips, such as Dick Tracy, Popeye, Superman and the Little King. His paintings of Coca Cola bottles and Campbell soup cans, arranged in seemingly endless rows, were ridiculed, when they were first shown. He created paintings of money and silk-screen portraits of Marilyn Monroe.
His second New York show in 1962 was a critical success and perfectly timed, as pop art was just becoming an acceptable art form. His fascination with silk screen as an instrument for mass production led him to open his own art studio, a large silver-painted warehouse, known simply as "The Factory", in 1964.
"The Factory" became a center for pop and would-be pop stars. It attracted a wide variety of glamorous people and an assortment of characters in the art and performing worlds. Although many of Warhol's films, such as "Eat" (1963), "Sleep" (1964) and "Empire" (1964), were lengthy depictions of the most mundane activity or object; some of his works anticipated future film themes or ridiculed certain subjects. "Lonesome Cowboys" (1968) treated homosexuality, when it was taboo, as a subject for commercial films and, at the same time, challenged the cowboy myth of courageous, macho riders of the range. With such works, as "Flesh" (1968) and "Trash" (1970), Warhol focused on sexual themes. These were the forerunners of the pornographic film market of the 1970's and 1980's. By the mid-1970's, the "Andy Warhol's Dracula" (1974) and "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein" (1974) enjoyed commercial success as satiric, yet serious works. From 1963 to 1974, he was involved in the production of more than sixty films of varying quality and subject matter.
In 1968, Warhol's celebrity status nearly cost him his life. A disturbed visitor to "The Factory", Valerie Solanas, an aspiring writer and radical feminist, shot him on June 3, 1968, inflicting serious internal wounds. Warhol's slow recovery included a two-month hospital stay and a turn to a new direction, his post-Pop period.
In 1969, Warhol founded "Interview" magazine. From 1970 onward, Andy increasingly turned to producing portraits of cult figures, prominent persons and personal friends. These portraits of figures, such as Mao Zedong, Philip Johnson, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Carter and Merce Cunningham, display a softer, more delicate imagery, than Warhol's earlier Pop Art paintings. His art of the 1970's moved closer to an abstract expressionist style and away from the figurative or realistic style of his work in the 1960's.
In the 1970's, Warhol continued to explore other forms of media. He published such books, as "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol" ("From A to B and Back Again") and "Exposures". Warhol also experimented extensively with video art, producing more than 60 films during his career. It's worth noting, that Andy worked in sculpture and photography.
In the 1980's, Andy moved into television, hosting "Andy Warhol's TV" and "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" on MTV.
In 1981, Andy undertook a series of myth paintings, in which the subject matter treated mythical figures from popular culture sources, such as advertisements, comic strips and films. These works included Dagwood, Mickey Mouse and Superman. Later, in 1983, he created a series of endangered species paintings, which depicted various threatened wild-life. As in all of his work, Warhol selected subjects with great popular imagery and treated the symbol and image the same way as he did the real object.
In his later years, Warhol suffered from chronic issues with his gallbladder. On February 20, 1987, he was admitted to New York Hospital, where his gallbladder was successfully removed and he seemed to be recovering. However, days later, on February 22, 1987, Warhol died of heart failure hours after undergoing gallbladder surgery in New York City. Thousands of people attended a memorial for the artist at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.
(A loosely formed autobiography by Andy Warhol, told with ...)
Untitled (Superman Collage #15)
Fairy and Christmas Ornaments
Brillo Soap Pads
Campbell Soup Company
The Souper Dress
Velvet Underground & Nico
Brillo Soap Pads Boxes
Time Magazine Cover
Chanel No. 5
Cherub and Horse
Untitled (Beauty Products)
Andy and Truman Capote
Self-Portrait in Drag
Committee 2000 Champagne Glasses
Self-Portrait in Drag
La Grande Passion
Only Way Out is In
Paris Review Poster
3 Coke Bottles
Blackglama (Judy Garland)
Campbell's Soup Can (Tomato/Pink)
Red Race Riot
Diamond Dust Shoes
Ingrid Bergman (as Herself)
Early Electric Chair
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
Ingrid Bergman as the Nun
Princess Caroline of Monaco
Hammer and Sickle
The Last Supper
Ladies and Gentlemen
Madonna and Self-Portrait with Skeleton's Arm (after Munch)
Campbell's Soup Can (onion)
Five Deaths Eleven Times In Orange
Green Coca-Cola Bottles
Campbell's Soup Can (Old Fashioned Vegetable)
Ingrid Bergman With Hat
Bighorn Ram (Endangered Species)
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, from Reigning Queens
Carter Burden (brown)
Joseph Beuys in Memoriam
Pine Barren Tree Frog II.294 (From Endangered Species Suite)
Campbell's Soup Can (Tomato) / Retrospective Series
After The Party
Big Campbell's Soup Can 19c (Beef Noodle)
Big Electric Chair
Mona Lisa Four Times
The Scream (after Munch)
Double Mona Lisa
Statue of Liberty
Front and Back
30 are Better than One
Colored Mona Lisa
Friedrich The Great
Campbell's Soup Cans
The Last Supper
Portrait of Maurice
Benz Racing Car
Warhol was raised as a Ruthenian Catholic by his parents, and continued being religious even during the later years of his life. He regularly volunteered at homeless shelters in New York City, particularly during the busier times of the year, and described himself as a religious person. Many of Warhol's later works depicted religious subjects, including two series, "Details of Renaissance Paintings" (1984) and "The Last Supper" (1986).
It's worth noting, that Andy attended St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Besides, during his lifetime, he regularly attended Mass, and the priest at Warhol's church, Saint Vincent Ferrer, said, that the artist went there almost daily, although he was not observed taking Communion or going to Confession and sat or knelt in the pews at the back. The priest thought he was afraid of being recognized. Warhol said he was self-conscious about being seen in a Roman Rite church, crossing himself "in the Orthodox way" (right to left instead of the reverse).
Warhol's brother said, that the artist was "really religious, but he didn't want people to know about that, because it was private". Despite the private nature of his faith, in Warhol's eulogy John Richardson depicted it as devout, saying: "To my certain knowledge, he was responsible for at least one conversion. He took considerable pride in financing his nephew's studies for the priesthood."
Despite being a symbol of liberal American counterculture, whose portraits of political figures often seem to be liberal statements (his menacing portrait of Nixon with a handwritten appeal below to "Vote McGovern" is perhaps his most notable work of the kind), Warhol was non-political. However, he once said, that he felt like he should be Republican, because he hated paying taxes. But then, claiming political agnosticism, he said: "Well, the reason I don't sort of get involved in politics is because I sort of believe in everything. One day I really believe in this and the next day I believe in doing that."
Warhol and other pop artists drew their inspiration and imagery from popular culture, but they heightened the color and changed the scale to make the images larger than life. In doing so they redefined pictorial realism and extended its concept. Warhol's imagery can be classified into four broad categories: commercial products, such as Brillo boxes and Heinz ketchup bottles; personality portraits of celebrities; modes of exchange, such as trading stamps and bills; and disaster pictures of automobile accidents, electric chairs, gangster funerals and race riots.
"What's great about this country is that America started the tradition, where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know, that the President drinks Coca-Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca-Cola and just think, you can drink Coca-Cola, too. 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."
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
"Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches."
"People should fall in love with their eyes closed."
"When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can't make them change if they don't want to, just like when they do want to, you can't stop them."
"Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years, when they could just say "so what". That's one of my favorite things to say. So what."
"Art is what you can get away with."
"As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it."
"The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting."
"I never fall apart, because I never fall together."
"I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art, that anybody could ever want."
"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."
"I'm afraid, that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning."
"I wonder if it's possible to have a love affair, that lasts forever."
"Beauty is a sign of intelligence."
"You have to do stuff, that average people don't understand, because those are the only good things."
"I think everybody should be nice to everybody."
"An artist is somebody, who produces things, that people don't need to have."
"Everybody must have a fantasy."
"Sometimes the little times you don't think are anything while they're happening turn out to be what marks a whole period of your life."
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art."
Beginning from childhood years, Warhol was a hypochondriac and had a fear of hospitals and doctors. Often bedridden as a child, he became an outcast at school and bonded with his mother, often calling himself a "Mama's Boy". At times, when he was confined to bed, he drew, listened to the radio and collected pictures of movie stars around his bed. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality, skill-set and preferences.
Warhol was gay. His enigmatic personal life has been the subject of much debate and his art was often infused with homoerotic imagery and motifs. However, he claimed, that he remained a virgin for his entire life. But it has been contradicted by his lovers, including Warhol's muse, BillyBoy.
Besides, Warhol was an avid collector. His collections included a Coca-cola memorabilia sign and 19th-century paintings along with airplane menus, unpaid invoices, pizza dough, pornographic pulp novels, newspapers, stamps, supermarket flyers and cookie jars, among other eccentricities.
At the age of eight, Warhol contracted Chorea (also known as St. Vitus's Dance) - a rare and sometimes fatal disease of the nervous system, that left him bedridden for several months.
In 1968, Warhol's celebrity status nearly cost him his life. A disturbed visitor to "The Factory", Valerie Solanas, an aspiring writer and radical feminist, shot him on June 3, 1968, inflicting serious internal wounds. It took Warhol two months to recover.
Andy died of cardiac arrhythmia in his sleep after gallbladder surgery in 1987 at the age of 58.
Quotes from others about the person
"I think he [Andy Warhol] would be very interested in the moment, that the Dalai Lama appears, being involved in such a kind of idea. Andy has always difficulties with this kind of political activities, because he works in another kind of world, but he is always... Also, when he was here (in Germany) last week, he is very interested to hear a lot of new information. He has a kind of observing sense in the back of his mind. So, he is always interested to follow the development, and there is really a kind of imaginative process going on, I think." - Joseph Beuys, a German painter and sculptor
"No director in human history has ever made or will ever make worse movies. Warhol makes Ed Wood look like Ingmar Bergman." - Dana Gioia, an American poet and writer
"Nobody drew shoes the way Andy did. He somehow gave each shoe a temperament of its own, a sort of sly, Toulouse-Lautrec kind of sophistication, but the shape and the style came through accurately and the buckle was always in the right place. The kids in the apartment, which Andy shared in New York, noticed, that the vamps on Andy's shoe drawings kept getting longer and longer, but [Israel] Miller didn't mind. Miller loved them." - John Coplans, a British artist and art writer
"When he wasn't being Andy Warhol and when you were just alone with him, he was an incredibly generous and very kind person. What seduced me was the Andy Warhol, who I saw alone. In fact, when I was with him in public, he kind of got on my nerves. I'd say: "You're just obnoxious, I can't bear you." - BillyBoy, an American artist, socialite and fashion designer
Warhol's partners included John Giorno, Billy Name, BillyBoy, Charles Lisanby and Jon Gould. Andy was involved in romantic relationships with Jed Johnson, whom he met in 1968, for 12 years.
Julia (Zavacká) Warhola
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This work represents the definitive chronicle of Warhol's storied life.