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Andy Warhol Pop Artist and Icon

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Essay title: Andy Warhol Pop Artist and Icon

Andy Warhol

Pop Artist & Icon

Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola) was one of the most well known and influential artists of the late 20th century. Warhol moved from his birthplace of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to New York and worked as a commercial artist for many magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and the New Yorker. He also did window displays and advertisements for retail stores. His first profitable job was illustrating an article in Glamour magazine titled Success is a Job in New York (Andy Warhol: Biography).

In the 1950s he was known as a very successful commercial artist and won several awards from the Art Directors Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. It was around this time he shortened his last name to Warhol. In 1952 he had his first art show at Hugo Gallery and had his first group show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1956 (Andy Warhol: Biography).

In the 1960s, Warhol began producing some of his most recognizable and famous paintings. He began painting Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles. Later on he began using the silkscreen method to mass produce his work. A lot of his work was based on pop culture and what America thought was important at the time. A few other of his most famous pieces are his portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minelli, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, and James Dean. He also painted money, women’s shoes, groceries, and newspaper clippings. All of his work was done in his studio called The Factory located on Union Square in New York. He hired many workers to assist him with his prints, films, and books. These art workers were his friends who often appeared in his films and helped write his books. These men and women were referred to as Factory workers. When Warhol was scheduled to lecture at a university, he would send one his friends dressed as him to instead if he did not want to go himself. The imposter Warhol would quietly sit on stage while other Factory workers talked about Warhol’s work and advised the students to drop out of college. Eventually the school’s caught on and Warhol had to refund them (Andy Warhol).

In his free time, Warhol enjoyed going to popular night clubs in New York such as Serendipity and Studio 54. He was described as being shy, quiet, and an observer. Warhol was openly gay which was rare at the time for a celebrity. He had many photographs and drawings of nude men; along with films he did titled My Hustler, Blow Job, and Lonesome Cowboys. These were popular in the underground gay community. Many of his drawings and photographs were rejected from galleries for being too openly gay and his films usually premiered at gay porn theaters. Warhol also liked to collect things. He saved every piece of fan mail, magazines related to him, personal notes, gay pornography, and other artifacts. He organized them and saved them in boxes he called his time capsules and never opened them again. These time capsules can be found today at his museum on Pittsburg. Warhol was also obsessed with cats, and they can be found in much of his art work (Andy Warhol).

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