Andy Warhol, the icon of Pop Art
From soup to hair, Andy Warhol he became one of the most famous artists of our time, a true legend of art. Fascinated by popular consumer culture and entertainment, the American artist became part of the Pop Art movement. The repetition and use of the silkscreen technique were two of the fundamental keys to his artistic process, full of series that included flowers, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, President Mao, among others. Learn more about the famous and iconic artist in this article.
The Life of Andrew Warhola
Andrew Warhola, the son of immigrants from Slovakia, was born in 1928 in Pennsylvania. He grew up in Pittsburgh, having attended the Art course at Carnegie Institute of Technology, from 1945 to 1949. When he moved to New York, he shortened his name toAndy Warhol and began working as a commercial designer and window artist, which led to him winning several awards for his distinctive designs. At the same time, he began to develop his own style of painting, inspired by popular culture, which dominated his entire work. But what is popular culture? Popular culture is anything from Coca Cola to celebrities to the clothes people like to wear. One of the most iconic pieces ofAndy Warhol was the printing of Campbell's Soup – a popular brand of soup in the United States.
The importance of serigraphy in the creative process of Andy Warhol
It was during the 1960s that theAndy Warhol established himself as the founder of Pop Art, due to his paintings with dollar bills, soup cans and movie stars. As previously mentioned, repetition was one of the keys to his work but also the creation of the iconic studio, “The Factory”. In order to speed up the process of creating his works, he had the help of his assistants in this famous studio. This practice brilliantly reflected the commercial and industrial economics of the age of mechanical reproduction.Andy Warhol liked to make prints because it meant he could create multiples of the same image. The printing process known as serigraphy gave the possibility of Andy Warhol create multiples of the same image, with the same appearance, but with different colors.
The Factory: the creative space
as iconic asAndy Warhol, only his studio, The Factory, extremely popular for its extraordinary parties and for being frequented by modern, bohemian and eccentric artists.In addition to creating your paintings,Andy Warhol he also used The Factory as a base to create his films and sculptures. As it was a cultural and social center, his works were also sold here. The Factory became a meeting place for musicians like Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Brian Jones and Mick Jagger. The Velvet Underground regularly played at parties andAndy Warhol designed the famous cover of their debut album The Velvet Underground and Nico in 1965, a record whose credits he also appears as a producer.Andy Warhol he was also a popular and influential figure in the underground cinema movement, for his documentary approach focused on banal and repetitive subjects. The bland personality, the platinum wig and public statements like "In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes" capture the underground culture of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1968, Andy Warhol almost died, after being shot by the actress Valerie Solanis who participated in one of his films. From 1976 onwards,Andy Warhol kept a diary, which was written by Pat Hackett—as Warhol was dyslexic and preferred to have someone write for him, so he dictated the events of his life by telephone. During this decade, he turned his attention to commissions for painting portraits of famous people.
the collaboration of Andy Warhol with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente
The 1980s were marked by frequent collaborations with younger artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente. The first collaborative project was with an Italian painter named Francesco Clemente, mostly by mail. Both sent partially finished canvases to each other rather than painting together in the same room. Warhol and Basquiat were formally introduced in the fall of 1982 by Swiss art dealer Bruno Bischofberger and soon after formed a personal and professional relationship that remained significant until the death ofAndy Warhol. Usually in collaborative paintings,Andy Warhol started and later Basquiat would add, thus creating layers to each artwork, without much preliminary discussion. Both artists appropriated images from a variety of source materials: books, magazines, newspapers, television, advertisements, and even medical diagrams. These collaborations demonstrate the stark contrast between their artistic styles and creative perspectives. In 1987,Andy Warhol died unexpectedly and tragically after complications from gallbladder surgery, and about a year and a half after that, Jean-Michel Basquiat unfortunately died of an overdose.
Andy Warhol queer?
Currently,Andy Warhol is considered a queer icon despite never claiming to be homosexual or expressing his views on the subject. There are studies on this part of the American artist's life that affirm a queer view. The Ladies and Gentleman portrait series byAndy Warhol is seen as a celebration of the beauty and diversity of New York's gay scene, as it showcases drag queens and trans women and Stonewall Riots activists Marsha P Johnson. This inclusive vision ofAndy Warhol communicates with a new generation of LGBTQ+ youth inspired by prominent queer icons, from Olly Alexander to RuPaul.It is important to mention thatAndy Warhol lived at the height of the AIDS pandemic, having during the 1980s lost many friends to the disease. At the time of AIDS, newspapers referred to the disease as "the big C", broadly categorizing the disease as "gay cancer".Andy Warhol expressed everyday terror in his diary. In particular, there are historians and curators who believe that the last works commissioned by the artist on the Last Supper are so full of elements about the AIDS crisis. An example of this is the use of the “C” in newspaper articles in these paintings.
New Netflix series The Andy Warhol diaries
Currently, it seemsAndy Warhol it is everywhere, whether in documentary series, theater plays or in large auction houses. Undoubtedly there are striking resonances that are fueling the renaissance ofAndy Warhol. The new Netflix series The Andy Warhol Diaries presents us with a deeply flawed human figure, but frighteningly far removed from the robotic printing machine it so desperately sought to be. In contemporary times, the man or woman behind art is as important – if not more – than art itself. If later on, the talent ofAndy Warhol as an artist, the public currently affirms his talent. This new series based on the diaries, dictated by the artist himself, tells an unknown part of the general public, from his love relationships through his friendships to his creative process. It is not the first cinematographic work aroundAndy Warhol, but The Andy Warhol Diaries reveals a new, touching, intimate and inspiring version of the irreverent artist. Two important points that are already touched on in the first hours of the series are the artist's homosexuality disguised as asexuality and his continuous pain for being aware that he was not a person considered beautiful. Another important point presented is the transformation ofAndy Warhol, marked by his obsession with beauty and frustration at not finding it in himself. still reveals thatAndy Warhol had a religious upbringing – his mother took him to mass every Sunday – and that this experience influenced his life: when he paints pop culture icons in two dimensions, he is reproducing, in a way, the usual paintings inserted in Catholic culture. . Undoubtedly, a moving series that opens doors to the real person behind the figure that Andy Warhol always introduced us.