Andy Warhol is one of the most important and prominent American artists, illustrators, and painters. He was the leading figure of the visual art movement called Pop Art. His fame flourished in the 1960s after he has effectively combined artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising into his works.
Warhol started as a commercial illustrator. He was born on 6 August 1928 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Warhol’s fame began after he created the whimsical ink drawings of shoes that were later used for advertisements. He was known for his loose, blotted-ink style in his works. Many of these Andy Warhol paintings are on display at the different modern art galleries worldwide.
Pop art is very similar to commercial art. Warhol wrote about it in his book entitled POPism, in an attempt to explain his newfound style to a much broader audience. His published book created a good following. That’s when he started to figure in various exhibits. His first two were at the Hugo Gallery and the Bodley Gallery. Those exhibits marked the birth of Pop Art – or more popularly the Andy Warhol art – in the US.
Andy Warhol died in his sleep on February 22, 1987, while recovering from gallbladder surgery. His doctors ruled that he suffered from post-operative cardiac arrhythmia. Upon his death, he allotted a good portion of his estate to build a foundation for the advancement of the visual arts. The Andy Warhol Museum was built to immortalize his legacy.1
The novel art style seen in all Andy Warhol paintings are what made him the prominent artist that he has become. Warhol became famous because of the iconic American objects he used in his paintings. He became famous for using Campbell’s Soup cans and Coca-cola bottles as subjects. He also used celebrity subjects such as Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, and Troy Donahue. All these are what made the Andy Warhol art and style very famous.2
The Andy Warhol paintings today are worth more than what they were when he was alive. His paintings, along with all the objects that were attributed to him, were kept at the Andy Warhol Museum. He has made several self portraits along with his collection of early and modern works. Some of his modern works include ‘Daisy Waterfall’ (1971), ‘Statue of Liberty’ (1962), ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ (1975), and ‘Skull’ (1976). His collection of early works and sketches includes ‘Happy Luggage’ (1963), ‘Dead Stop’ (1954), and ‘Female Fashion Figure’ (1950).3
Interview and Statements
The popularity of Andy Warhol became unprecedented during his lifetime that he was quoted saying, “Some company was interested in buying ‘my aura’.” Andy Warhol’s life was also depicted in various films such as Oliver Stone’s ‘The Doors’, where he was played by Crispin Glover. He also figured in Julian Schnabel’s ‘Basquiat’ where David Bowie played him. Then there was ‘I Shot Andy Warhol’ by Mary Harronls where his role was given to Jared Harris. A few other movies added his character to the plot not long after.