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  • Phyllis Pantazis

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was born on the 6th of August in a two-room apartment at 73 Orr Street in a working-class neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was raised in a family of Slovakian immigrants. Originally, he was named Andrew Warhol. Andy was an American visual artist, film director, producer, and leading figure in the pop art movement. His art pieces explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s in a variety of media, including painting, silk screening, photography, film, and sculpture.

In 1945 he studied commercial art at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh. He then graduated in 1949 and moved to New York City, where he worked as a commercial illustrator for magazines and advertising agencies.

Where Andy grew up, gay men and women were treated like criminals, and it was very difficult for him growing up in such an environment. So, when he moved to New York, he could finally live his life how he wanted to and explore his gay identity.

In 1960, he became famous for the iconic Campbell's Soup Cans series and portraits of Marilyn Monroe which made him a central figure in the Pop Art movement.

Between 1963 and 1987, he set up "The Factory," a famous art studio in New York City where he collaborated with other artists and produced his work. The Factory became a hub for avant-garde artists, musicians, and celebrities.

Campbell's Soup I: Tomato, 1968 Art Print by Andy Warhol | King & McGaw

Obsessed with celebrity and mass media, Andy’s art reflected and criticized American consumer culture.

He continued to be an important artist in the 1970s and 1980s until February 22, 1987, when Andy Warhol died in a New York Hospital in Manhattan due to complications following a surgery to remove his gall bladder. Andy was buried next to his mother and father at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a suburb south of Pittsburgh.

Andy Warhol's work continues to influence contemporary artists, because his exploration of consumerism, celebrity, and mass media remains relevant up to date. His art is highly sought after and valuable in the art market.

Fun facts

1. Andy Warhol was raised Byzantine Catholic and regularly attended mass for most of his life.

2. Warhol's paintings of Marilyn Monroe are the ultimate Pop Art testament to celebrity, fame, and beauty. This artwork was sold for US$195 million at Christie's New York in May 2022.

3. When he was 8 years old, he caught a liver disease that caused his limbs to sometimes spasm uncontrollably

4. Andy Warhol was taught to draw by his mother, an embroiderer and artist.

5. He collected cookie jars.

6. In 1968 he Survived an assassination attempt by Valerie Solinas.

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