Andy Warhol: Prolific Artist, Private Man (VIDEO)

Today would've marked Andy Warhol's 86th birthday. The controversial artist, whose work has reaped up to $105 million for a single painting, was once called "the bellwether of the art market." But his personal life? That wasn't for sale.
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Today would've marked Andy Warhol's 86th birthday. The controversial artist, whose work has reaped up to $105 million for a single painting, was once called "the bellwether of the art market." But his personal life? That wasn't for sale.

Andy Warhol. His name is synonymous with pop art and his expansive career was one of the most diverse, controversial, and celebrated of his time. He was not only a visual artist but also a filmmaker, author, art collector, and founder of Interview magazine.

Over the decades Warhol was praised for his creative amalgamation of celebrity, advertising, and artistic expression, but some critics viewed his works in the latter part of his career as vacant and superficial and shunned him as a "business artist."

But his philosophy? "Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art," he stated in one of his books.

Andy Warhol: Though the people around him changed, Warhol was always on the lookout for the next new superstar. Here he is photographing Pia Zadora in 1983.

Andy Warhol: Though the people around him changed, Warhol was always on the lookout for the next new superstar. Here he is photographing Pia Zadora in 1983.

But as much as Warhol found himself in the glaring spotlight, he was known to be quiet and shy. Although he was openly gay, he intimated he was a virgin at 52, (that was later disputed), but nonetheless, it wasn't difficult to perceive his asexual nature; he preferred being more of a voyeur of human behavior than an active participant.  

Perhaps a surprise to many who remember snapshots of the artist at Studio 54 and recall his sexually charged films like Lonesome Cowboys and The Nude Restaurant, Warhol was a deeply religious man. As an Eastern Orthodox Catholic, he went to mass regularly—according to his priest, almost daily—and volunteered at homeless shelters. He was also said to have taken great pride in financially assisting his nephew who was studying for the priesthood.

Watch Warhol's mini bio above to get a glimpse of this complex human who was as intriguing in his personal life as he was through his popular art.