Artist Profile: Andy Warhol

© Christie's Images Ltd. 2007; used with permission
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987). Lemon Marilyn, 1962. Synthetic polymer, silkscreen inks and acrylic on canvas. 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm.). © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. © Christie's Images Ltd. 2007

Movement, Style, School or Type of Art:

Pop

Date and Place of Birth:

(disputed) August 6, 1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Life and Work:

Warhol was trained as a commercial artist, and is best known for founding (or claiming to found) the Pop Art Movement in American art. He developed the technique of projecting photographic images to a silk screen, a process that enabled him to produce repetitive patterns within the same piece relatively quickly.

Typical works are of famous people, everyday objects (soup cans, dollar bills) and macabre scenes of car wrecks and electric chairs.

Warhol also produced experimental films, helped found the band Velvet Underground and was an integral part of making performance art acceptable, if not understood. His studio, "The Factory", was a social hub in New York City.

Date and Place of Death:

February 27, 1987, New York City

Warhol died of complications following gall bladder surgery, which was, perhaps, a fitting way for an artist who championed the mundane and claimed to love "boring things" to go. Still, afterwards he got a spectacular send-off as some 2,000 people attended his memorial service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

Quotes From Andy Warhol:

  • "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."
  • "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."
  • "Once you 'got' Pop, you could never see a sign the same way again. And once you thought Pop, you could never see America the same way again."
  • "I've decided something: Commercial things really do stink. As soon as it becomes commercial for a mass market it really stinks."
  • "It would be very glamorous to be reincarnated as a great big ring on Liz Taylor's finger."

    Sources and Further Reading

    • Feldman, Frayda (ed.), et al. Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue RaisonnĂ©.
      New York : Abbeville Press, 1989 (revised 4th edition).

    • Hackett, Pat (ed.). The Andy Warhol Diaries
      New York : Warner Books, 1991.

    • Livingstone, Marco. "Warhol, Andy"
      Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, 7 August 2005.
    • Rodgers, David. "Warhol, Andy"
      The Oxford Companion to Western Art.
      Ed. Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford University Press, 2001.
      Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, 7 August 2005.
    • Warhol, Andy. The Philosophy of Andy Warhol : From A to B and Back Again.
      New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975.

    Videos Worth Watching

    • Andy Warhol (1988)

    • Andy Warhol - The Complete Picture (2002)

      Buy Direct
    • I Shot Andy Warhol (1996)
      A dramatic reenactment, not a documentary - and not likely to be everyone's cup of tea (though I liked it).

    • The Life and Times of Andy Warhol - Superstar (1991)

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