- NAME: Andy Warhol
- OCCUPATION: Painter, Filmmaker
- BIRTH DATE: August 06, 1928
- DEATH DATE: February 22, 1987
- EDUCATION: Carnegie Institute (now the Carnegie Museum of Art), Schenley High School, Carnegie Institute for Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University)
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Oakland, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Andrew Warhola
- AKA: Andy Warhola
- AKA: Andy Warhol
- AKA: Andrew Warhol
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Illustrator Andy Warhol was one of the most prolific and popular artists of his time, using both avant-garde and highly commercial sensibilities.
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Andy Warhol was the superstar of the Pop Art movement. His "Campbell's Soup Cans" and "Gold Marilyn Monroe" made him famous worldwide, and his studio, known as "The Factory," became a magnet for artists of the 60s counterculture.
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Born on August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andy Warhol was a successful magazine and ad illustrator who became a leading artist of the 1960s Pop art movements. He ventured into a wide variety of art forms, including performance art, filmmaking, video installations and writing, and controversially blurred the lines between fine art and mainstream aesthetics. Warhol died on February 22, 1987, in New York City.
"I'd prefer to remain a mystery. I never give my background, and, anyway, I make it all up different every time I'm asked."
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
Born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928, in the neighborhood of Oakland in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andy Warhol's parents were Slovakian immigrants. His father, Ondrej Warhola, was a construction worker, while his mother, Julia Warhola, was an embroiderer. They were devout Byzantine Catholics who attended mass regularly, and maintained much of their Slovakian culture and heritage while living in one of Pittsburgh's Eastern European ethnic enclaves.
At the age of 8, Warhol contracted Chorea -- also known as St. Vitus's Dance -- a rare and sometimes fatal disease of the nervous system that left him bedridden for several months. It was during these months, while Warhol was sick in bed, that his mother, herself a skillful artist, gave him his first drawing lessons. Drawing soon became Warhol's favorite childhood pastime. He was also an avid fan of the movies, and when his mother bought him a camera at the age of 9 he took up photography as well, developing film in a makeshift darkroom he set up in their basement.
Warhol attended Holmes Elementary school and took the free art classes offered at the Carnegie Institute (now the Carnegie Museum of Art) in Pittsburgh. In 1942, at the age of 14, Warhol again suffered a tragedy when his father passed away from a jaundiced liver. Warhol was so upset that he could not attend his father's funeral, and he hid under his bed throughout the wake. Warhol's father had recognized his son's artistic talents, and in his will he dictated that his life savings go toward Warhol's college education. That same year, Warhol began at Schenley High School, and upon graduating, in 1945, he enrolled at the Carnegie Institute for Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) to study pictorial design.
When he graduated from college with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1949, Warhol moved to New York City to pursue a career as a commercial artist. It was also at this time that he dropped the "a" at the end of his last name to become Andy Warhol. He landed a job with Glamour magazine in September, and went on to become one of the most successful commercial artists of the 1950s. He won frequent awards for his uniquely whimsical style, using his own blotted line technique and rubber stamps to create his drawings.
In the late 1950s, Warhol began devoting more attention to painting, and in 1961, he debuted the concept of "pop art" -- paintings that focused on mass-produced commercial goods. In 1962, he exhibited the now-iconic paintings of Campbell's soup cans. These small canvas works of everyday consumer products created a major stir in the art world, bringing both Warhol and pop art into the national spotlight for the first time.
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Pop art, which started in the mid 1950s in the U.K. and just a few years later in the U.S., is the use of popular ad and news imagery, usually in an ironic and/or kitschy sort of way. Whether conceptual or experiential, pop art is art for the masses...and thanks to Andy Warhol, we'll never look at Campbell's Soup cans the same way again.
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