Andrew Warhola, known to us as Andy Warhol was man who had written books, created and produced films, was a leading figure in the visual art movement, and left an impression both on paper and in our minds. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928, Andy Warhol graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology before moving to New York. His first big break was in August 1949 when Glamour Magazine asked him to illustrate an article called “Success is a Job in New York.”
In 1952 Andy Warhol had his first one-man show exhibition at the Hugo Gallery in New York and by 1955 Andy Warhol had almost all of New York copying his work. He was well known for creating ink images with slight color changes. Andy Warhol was into doing popular items like Coca-Cola bottles and celebrities faces, like Marilyn Monroe. His Campbell’s Soup Can is a classic and an easily recognized work of Andy’s. In the 1960s, Andy Warhol also made a series of films about time, boredom and repetition like Empire and The Chelsea Girls.
The pop artist not only depicted mass products but he also wanted to mass produce his own works of pop art. Consequently he founded The Factory in 1962. It was an art studio where he employed in a rather chaotic way “art workers” to mass produce mainly prints and posters but also other items like shoes designed by the artist. The first location of the Factory was in 231 E. 47th Street, 5th Floor (between 1st & 2nd Ave).
Warhol’s favorite printmaking technique was silkscreen. It came closest to his idea of proliferation of art. Apart from being an Art Producing Machine, the Factory served as a filmmaking studio. Warhol made over 300 experimental underground films – most rather bizarre and some rather pornographic. His first one was called Sleep and showed nothing else but a man sleeping over six hours.
Warhol was a homosexual with a slightly bizarre personality. In the fifties he dyed his hair straw-blond. Later he replaced his real hair by blond and silver-grey wigs. The pop artist loved cats, and images of them can be found on quite a few of his art works. One of Andy’s friends described him as a true workaholic. Warhol was obsessed by the ambition to become famous and wealthy. And he knew he could achieve the American dream only by hard work.
Andy Warhol died February 22, 1987 from complications after a gall bladder operation. More than 2000 people attended the memorial mass at St.Patrick’s Cathedral. Two years later, in May 1994 the Andy Warhol Museum opened in his home town Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania in his honor.