Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol's (1928- 1987) name, like Picasso's, is known throughout the world. His most famous creations, the familiar icons of Pop art, are instantly recognized and relentlessly imitated. Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928. After graduation from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), Warhol moved to New York where he found steady work as a commercial artist and designer of shoes. He worked as an illustrator for several magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and The New Yorker and did advertising and window displays for retail stores such as Bonwit Teller and I. Miller.

The sixties were an extremely prolific decade for Warhol. Appropriating images from popular culture, Warhol created many paintings that remain icons of 20th-century art: Campbell's Soup Cans, Jackies, Marilyns and several other iconocic images. Warhol poked and prowled around the sacred cows of American life: work, fun, fame, love and beauty. In addition to painting, Warhol made several 16mm films that have become underground classics.

At the start of the seventies, Warhol began publishing Interview magazine and renewed his focus on painting. He worked extensively on a commissioned basis both for corporations and for individuals whose portraits he painted. During the eighties, he continued to explore his interest in still life, portraiture and popular culture (global concerns i.e., Endangered Species) and returned to earlier themes including consumerism (Shoes) and advertising (Ads). He also created two cable television shows, "Andy Warhol's TV" in 1982 and "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" for MTV in 1986.

Warhol engaged in a series of collaborations with younger artists, including Jean-Michele Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Keith Haring. It was during this period that Warhol became a celebrity figure to the general public and a regular at Studio 54. Firmly established as a major 20th-century artist and international celebrity, Warhol's work has been exhibited extensively in museums and galleries around the world including The Museum of Modern Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Kunstmuseum Basel, Barbican Art Gallery in London, Musée de la Mode in Marseilles, LA County Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia, etc. The Andy Warhol Museum opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in May 1994. In addition, the Whitney Museum of American Art just completed an exhibition of "The Warhol Look: Glamour/Style/Fashion." In 1998, the auction world saw record prices for Warhol's works ranging from $3.5 million for Campbell's Soup to $17.1 million for Orange Shot Marilyn (Sotheby's). Andy Warhol was an incredible potpourri of moods: sublimely irreverent, unfailingly funny, and above all, true. He remains one of the most powerful forces in shaping our contemporary culture.

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