Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol – Marilyn Monroe 1967 Screen print on paper


(1928 – 1987)

Some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century

In The East Village Other in 1966, Andy was quoted: “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.” Born Andrew Warhola, August 6, 1928, he grew up in Pittsburgh. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist. His name is synonymous with the visual art movement known as pop art.

At about the age of 8, Warhol contracted a disease of the nervous system that caused involuntary movements and blotchiness of the skin. Often bedridden, he became an outcast at school. He spent his time drawing, listening to the radio and collected pictures of movie stars, all contributing to his radical personality and later obsession with celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, and Elvis Presley.

After earning a BA in pictorial design at Carnegie Mellon University, Warhol moved to NY where he pursued a successful career in magazine illustration and advertising. The 1950s brought recognition and influence. When he established his studio, known as The Factory, it became the avant-garde epicenter for a wide range of intellectuals, street people and wealthy patrons.

Warhol’s focus on consumer culture, coupled with interest in mechanical reproduction led to some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Perhaps the best examples are the brilliantly colored images of Marilyn Monroe. The Marilyn canvases were early examples of Warhol’s use of photo-stencils and silkscreen printing, a method that allowed him to achieve an assembly line effect. It was quick, chancy and exciting.

In the 1960’s, drawing from popular culture and subject matter like soup cans and dollar bills, Warhol’s career began a meteoric rise. Looked up to by younger artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Warhol opened our eyes to his eccentric world.

Taba Dale

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