During the 1960s, Warhol flourished as an artist using a variety of media like painting, photography, film, and sculpture. However, it was in silkscreening where he did his most recognizable work. In his New York City studio, The Factory, he would direct and sometimes print the work while scores of intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, bohemians, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy patrons gathered to take in the show. His biggest achievement was in creating and elevating his own persona to become an icon of pop culture, which today is still being copied by the likes of Lady Gaga and Sia. The mystery behind the dark sunglasses.
"Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."
Born Andrew Warhola, on August 6, 1928 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Andy Warhol became one of the most successful artist of the 20th century. An icon of the Pop Art Movement, Warhol explored the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertising. He moved to New York pursuing a career as a successful illustrator, and later became an artist that pushed the definition of what is considered art. From everyday items like a bottle of Coca Cola and Campbell soup cans, to celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, Warhol defined and chronicled the 1960s.
Warhol’s subject matters included celebrity and death. After Marilyn Monroe’s death, Warhol began making portraits in a variety of color combinations. Critics believed to be an expression of his sorrow, and others believed it to be a way for the display the public's ability to move on and become desensitized by the constant barrage of news. He would print things over and over again, not only to sell as much as he could, but as an expression of the obsession of the celebrity culture. Death was a theme that would repeat in his work. The Death and Disaster series is one Warhol's most sought after series by collectors.
In 1965 Warhol retired from painting to concentrate on making experimental films. At the time, no one paid any attention to his films, and now they are considered revolutionary by some. The vulnerability of his subject would inevitably be exposed as he would ask his subject to sit on a chair and stare straight at the camera. No further instruction was given, and at first, they found the exercise silly. His subjects would eventually give in and crumble the initial wall of skepticism to reveal themselves in sadness and at times be brought to tears. This sort of introspection and fear of revealing who we are was what Warhol sought.
Critics saw a decline in his work by 1968. He would concentrate on his business endeavors including musical act management, like the Velvet Underground and he go one to launched Interview Magazine.
Considered the most successful artist of the 20th century, Warhol has left a time capsule into the 60s, and became an influence to generations of artist like Jeff Koons, Ai Weiwei and many others.