Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the fourth child of Ondrej Warhola and Ulja, whose first child was born in their homeland and died before their migration to the U.S. His parents were working-class immigrants from Mik (now called Mikov), in northeastern Slovakia, then part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Warhol’s father immigrated to the US in 1914, and his mother joined him in 1921, after the death of Andy Warhol’s grandparents. Warhol’s father worked in a coal mine. The family lived at 55 Beelen Street and later at 3252 Dawson Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The family was Byzantine Catholic and attended St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Andy Warhol had two older brothers, Jn and Pavol, who were born in today’s Slovakia. Pavol’s son, James Warhola, became a successful children’s book illustrator.
In third grade, Warhol had chorea, a nervous system disease that causes involuntary movements of the extremities, which is believed to be a complication of scarlet fever and causes skin pigmentation blotchiness. He became a hypochondriac, developing a fear of hospitals and doctors. Often bed-ridden as a child, he became an outcast among his school-mates and bonded strongly with his mother. At times when he was confined to bed, he drew, listened to the radio and collected pictures of movie stars around his bed. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality, skill-set and preferences.
Warhol showed early artistic talent and studied commercial art at the School of Fine Arts at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (now Carnegie Mellon University). In 1949, he moved to New York City and began a successful career in magazine illustration and advertising. During the 1950s, he gained fame for his whimsical ink drawings of shoe advertisements. These were done in a loose, blotted-ink style, and figured in some of his earliest showings at the Bodley Gallery in New York. With the concurrent rapid expansion of the record industry and the introduction of the vinyl record, Hi-Fi, and stereophonic recordings, RCA Records hired Warhol, along with another freelance artist, Sid Maurer, to design album covers and promotional materials.
Campbell’s Soup I (1968)
His first one-man art-gallery exhibition as a fine artist was on July 9, 1962, in the Ferus Gallery of Los Angeles. The exhibition marked the West Coast debut of pop art. Andy Warhol’s first New York solo Pop exhibit was hosted at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery November 6-24, 1962. The exhibit included the works Marilyn Diptych, 100 Soup Cans, 100 Coke Bottles and 100 Dollar Bills. At the Stable Gallery exhibit, the artist met for the first time John Giorno who would star in Warhol’s first film, Sleep, in 1963.
It was during the 1960s that Warhol began to make paintings of iconic American products such as Campbell’s Soup Cans and Coca-Cola bottles, as well as paintings of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Troy Donahue, Muhammad Ali and Elizabeth Taylor. He founded “The Factory”, his studio during these years, and gathered around himself a wide range of artists, writers, musicians, and underground celebrities. He began producing prints using the silkscreen method. His work became popular and controversial.
Among the imagery tackled by Warhol were dollar bills, celebrities and brand name products. He also used as imagery for his paintings newspaper headlines or photographs of mushroom clouds, electric chairs, and police dogs attacking civil rights protesters. Warhol also used Coca Cola bottles as subject matter for paintings. He had this to say about Coca Cola:
What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.
New York’s Museum of Modern Art hosted a Symposium on pop art in December 1962 during which artists like Warhol were attacked for “capitulating” to consumerism. Critics were scandalized by Warhol’s open embrace of market culture. This symposium set the tone for Warhol’s reception. Throughout the decade it became more and more clear that there had been a profound change in the culture of the art world, and that Warhol was at the center of that shift.
Campbell’s Tomato Juice Box (1964)
A pivotal event was the 1964 exhibit The American Supermarket, a show held in Paul Bianchini’s Upper East Side gallery. The show was presented as a typical U.S. small supermarket environment, except that everything in it from the produce, canned goods, meat, posters on the wall, etc. was created by six prominent pop artists of the time, among them the controversial (and like-minded) Billy Apple, Mary Inman, and Robert Watts. Warhol’s painting of a can of Campbell’s soup cost $1,500 while each autographed can sold for $6. The exhibit was one of the first mass events that directly confronted the general public with both pop art and the perennial question of what art is (or of what is art and what is not).
As an advertisement illustrator in the 1950s, Warhol used assistants to increase his productivity. Collaboration would remain a defining (and controversial) aspect of his working methods throughout his career; in the 1960s, however, this was particularly true. One of the most important collaborators during this period was Gerard Malanga. Malanga assisted the artist with producing silkscreens, films, sculpture, and other works at “The Factory”, Warhol’s aluminum foil-and-silver-paint-lined studio on 47th Street (later moved to Broadway). Other members of Warhol’s Factory crowd included Freddie Herko, Ondine, Ronald Tavel, Mary Woronov, Billy Name, and Brigid Berlin (from whom he apparently got the idea to tape-record his phone conversations).
During the ’60s, Warhol also groomed a retinue of bohemian eccentrics upon whom he bestowed the designation “Superstars”, including Edie Sedgwick, Viva, Ultra Violet, and Candy Darling. These people all participated in the Factory films, and some like Berlin remained friends with Warhol until his death. Important figures in the New York underground art/cinema world, such as writer John Giorno and film-maker Jack Smith, also appear in Warhol films of the 1960s, revealing Warhol’s connections to a diverse range of artistic scenes during this period.
On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and art critic and curator Mario Amaya at Warhol’s studio. Before the shooting, Solanas had been a marginal figure in the Factory scene. She founded a “group” called S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) and authored the S.C.U.M. Manifesto, a separatist feminist attack on patriarchy. Over the years, Solanas’ manifesto has found a following. Solanas appears in the 1968 Warhol film I, A Man. Earlier on the day of the attack, Solanas had been turned away from the Factory after asking for the return of a script she had given to Warhol. The script, apparently, had been misplaced.
Amaya received only minor injuries and was released from the hospital later the same day. Warhol however, was seriously wounded by the attack and barely survived (surgeons opened his chest and massaged his heart to help stimulate its movement again). He suffered physical effects for the rest of his life. The shooting had a profound effect on Warhol’s life and art.
Solanas was arrested the day after the assault. By way of explanation, she said that “He had too much control over my life,” following which she was eventually sentenced to three years under the control of the department of corrections. After the shooting, the Factory scene became much more tightly controlled, and for many this event brought the “Factory 60s” to an end. The shooting was mostly overshadowed in the media due to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy two days later.
Warhol had this to say about the attack: “Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.”
Andy Warhol and Jimmy Carter in 1977
Compared to the success and scandal of Warhol’s work in the 1960s, the 1970s proved a much quieter decade, as Warhol became more entrepreneurial. According to Bob Colacello, Warhol devoted much of his time to rounding up new, rich patrons for portrait commissions including Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, his wife Empress Farah Pahlavi, his sister Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon, Diana Ross, Brigitte Bardot, and Michael Jackson.  Warhol’s famous portrait of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong was created in 1973. He also founded, with Gerard Malanga, Interview magazine, and published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (1975). An idea expressed in the book: “Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art.”[cite this quote]
Warhol used to socialize at various nightspots in New York City, including Max’s Kansas City; Serendipity 3; and, later in the ’70s, Studio 54. He was generally regarded as quiet, shy, and a meticulous observer. Art critic Robert Hughes called him “the white mole of Union Square.”
Warhol had a re-emergence of critical and financial success in the 1980s, partially due to his affiliation and friendships with a number of prolific younger artists, who were dominating the “bull market” of ’80s New York art: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, David Salle and other so-called Neo-Expressionists, as well as members of the Transavantgarde movement in Europe, including Francesco Clemente and Enzo Cucchi.
By this period, Warhol was being criticized for becoming merely a “business artist”. In 1979, unfavorable reviews met his exhibits of portraits of 1970s personalities and celebrities, calling them superficial, facile and commercial, with no depth or indication of the significance of the subjects. This criticism was echoed for his 1980 exhibit of ten portraits at the Jewish Museum in New York, entitled Jewish Geniuses, which Warhol who exhibited no interest in Judaism or matters of interest to Jews had described in his diary as “They’re going to sell.” In hindsight, however, some critics have come to view Warhol’s superficiality and commerciality as “the most brilliant mirror of our times,” contending that “Warhol had captured something irresistible about the zeitgeist of American culture in the 1970s.”
Warhol also had an appreciation for intense Hollywood glamour. He once said: “I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re so beautiful. Everything’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”
Many people think of Warhol as “asexual” and merely a “voyeur”; however, it is now well established that he was homosexual (see biographers such as Victor Bockris, Bob Colacello, and art historian Richard Meyer). The question of how Warhol’s sexuality influenced his work and shaped his relationship to the art world is a major subject of scholarship on the artist, and is an issue that Warhol himself addressed in interviews, in conversation with his contemporaries, and in his publications (e.g. Popism: The Warhol Sixties).
Throughout his career, Warhol produced erotic photography and drawings of male nudes. Many of his most famous works (portraits of Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, and Elizabeth Taylor, and films like Blow Job, My Hustler, and Lonesome Cowboys) draw from gay underground culture and/or openly explore the complexity of sexuality and desire. Many of his films premiered in gay porn theaters. That said, some stories about Warhol’s development as an artist revolved around the obstacle his sexuality initially presented as he tried to launch his career. The first works that he submitted to a gallery in the pursuit of a career as an artist were homoerotic drawings of male nudes. They were rejected for being too openly gay. In Popism, furthermore, the artist recalls a conversation with the film maker Emile de Antonio about the difficulty Warhol had being accepted socially by the then more famous (but closeted) gay artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. De Antonio explained that Warhol was “too swish and that upsets them.” In response to this, Warhol writes, “There was nothing I could say to that. It was all too true. So I decided I just wasn’t going to care, because those were all the things that I didn’t want to change anyway, that I didn’t think I ‘should’ want to change… Other people could change their attitudes but not me”. In exploring Warhol’s biography, many turn to this period the late 1950s and early 1960s as a key moment in the development of his persona. Some have suggested that his frequent refusal to comment on his work, to speak about himself (confining himself in interviews to responses like “Um, No” and “Um, Yes”, and often allowing others to speak for him) and even the evolution of his Pop style an be traced to the years when Warhol was first dismissed by the inner circles of the New York art world.
Images of Jesus from The Last Supper cycle (1986). Warhol made almost 100 variations on the theme, which the Guggenheim felt “indicates an almost obsessive investment in the subject matter.”
Warhol was a practicing Byzantine Catholic. He regularly volunteered at homeless shelters in New York, particularly during the busier times of the year, and described himself as a religious person. Several of Warhol’s later works depicted religious subjects, including two series, Details of Renaissance Paintings (1984) and The Last Supper (1986). In addition, a body of religious-themed works was found posthumously in his estate.
During his life, Warhol regularly attended Mass, and the priest at Warhol’s church, Saint Vincent’s, said that the artist went there almost daily. His art is noticeably influenced by the eastern Christian iconographic tradition which was so evident in his places of worship.
Warhol’s brother has described the artist as “really religious, but he didn’t want people to know about that because [it was] private.” Despite the private nature of his faith, in Warhol’s eulogy John Richardson depicted it as devout: “To my certain knowledge, he was responsible for at least one conversion. He took considerable pride in financing his nephew’s studies for the priesthood”
Warhol died in New York City at 6:32 a.m. on February 22, 1987. According to news reports, he had been making good recovery from a routine gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital before dying in his sleep from a sudden post-operative cardiac arrhythmia. Prior to his diagnosis and operation, Warhol delayed having his recurring gallbladder problems checked, as he was afraid to enter hospitals and see doctors. His family sued the hospital for inadequate care, saying that the arrhythmia was caused by improper care and water intoxication.
Warhol’s grave at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery
Warhol’s body was taken back to Pittsburgh by his brothers for burial. The wake was at Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home and was an open-coffin ceremony. The coffin was a solid bronze casket with gold plated rails and white upholstery. Warhol was dressed in a black cashmere suit, a paisley tie, a platinum wig, and sunglasses. He was posed holding a small prayer book and a red rose. The funeral liturgy was held at the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church on Pittsburgh’s North Side. The eulogy was given by Monsignor Peter Tay. Yoko Ono also made an appearance. The coffin was covered with white roses and asparagus ferns. After the liturgy, the coffin was driven to St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a south suburb of Pittsburgh. At the grave, the priest said a brief prayer and sprinkled holy water on the casket. Before the coffin was lowered, Paige Powell dropped a copy of Interview magazine, an Interview t-shirt, and a bottle of the Estee Lauder perfume “Beautiful” into the grave. Warhol was buried next to his mother and father. Weeks later a memorial service was held in Manhattan for Warhol on April 1, 1987, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York.
Warhol’s will dictated that his entire estate with the exception of a few modest legacies to family members would go to create a foundation dedicated to the “advancement of the visual arts”. Warhol had so many possessions that it took Sotheby’s nine days to auction his estate after his death; the auction grossed more than US$20 million. His total estate was worth considerably more, due in no small part to shrewd investments over the years.
In 1987, in accordance with Warhol’s will, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was founded. The Foundation not only serves as the official Estate of Andy Warhol, but also has a mission “to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process” and is “focused primarily on supporting work of a challenging and often experimental nature.”
The Artists Rights Society is the U.S. copyright representative for the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for all Warhol works with the exception of Warhol film stills. The U.S. copyright representative for Warhol film stills is the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Additionally, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has agreements in place for its image archive. All digital images of Warhol are exclusively managed by Corbis, while all transparency images of Warhol are managed by Art Resource.
The Andy Warhol Foundation released its 20th Anniversary Annual Report as a three-volume set in 2007: Vol. I, 19872007; Vol. II, Grants & Exhibitions; and Vol. III, Legacy Program. The Foundation remains one of the largest grant-giving organizations for the visual arts in the U.S.
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By the beginning of the 1960s, Warhol was a very successful commercial illustrator. His detailed and elegant drawings for I. Miller shoes were particularly popular. These illustrations consisted mainly of “blotted ink” drawings (or monoprints), a technique which he applied in much of his early art. Although many artists of this period worked in commercial art, most did so discreetly. Warhol was so successful, however, that his profile as an illustrator seemed to undermine his efforts to be taken seriously as an artist.
Pop Art was an experimental form that several artists were independently adopting; some of these pioneers, such as Roy Lichtenstein, would later become synonymous with the movement. Warhol, who would become famous as the “Pope of Pop”, turned to this new style, where popular subjects could be part of the artist’s palette. His early paintings show images taken from cartoons and advertisements, hand-painted with paint drips. Those drips emulated the style of successful abstract expressionists (such as Willem de Kooning). Warhol’s first Pop Art paintings were displayed in April 1961, serving as the backdrop for New York Department Store Bronwit Teller’s window display. This was the same stage his Pop Art contemporaries Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg had also once graced. Eventually, Warhol pared his image vocabulary down to the icon itself to brand names, celebrities, dollar signs and removed all traces of the artist’s “hand” in the production of his paintings.
To him, part of defining a niche was defining his subject matter. Cartoons were already being used by Lichtenstein, typography by Jasper Johns, and so on; Warhol wanted a distinguishing subject. His friends suggested he should paint the things he loved the most. In his signature way of taking things literally, for his first major exhibition he painted his famous cans of Campbell’s Soup, which he claimed to have had for lunch for most of his life. The work sold for $10,000 at an auction on November 17, 1971, at Sotheby’s New York a minimal amount for the artist whose paintings sell for over $6 million more recently.
He loved celebrities, so he painted them as well. From these beginnings he developed his later style and subjects. Instead of working on a signature subject matter, as he started out to do, he worked more and more on a signature style, slowly eliminating the hand-made from the artistic process. Warhol frequently used silk-screening; his later drawings were traced from slide projections. At the height of his fame as a painter, Warhol had several assistants who produced his silk-screen multiples, following his directions to make different versions and variations.
In 1979, Warhol was commissioned by BMW to paint a Group 4 race version of the then elite supercar BMW M1 for the fourth installment in the BMW Art Car Project. Unlike the three artists before him, Warhol declined the use of a small scale practice model, instead opting to immediately paint directly onto the full scale automobile. It was indicated that Warhol spent only a total of 23 minutes to paint the entire car.
Warhol produced both comic and serious works; his subject could be a soup can or an electric chair. Warhol used the same techniques silkscreens, reproduced serially, and often painted with bright colors whether he painted celebrities, everyday objects, or images of suicide, car crashes, and disasters, as in the 196263 Death and Disaster series. The Death and Disaster paintings (such as Red Car Crash, Purple Jumping Man, and Orange Disaster) transform personal tragedies into public spectacles, and signal the use of images of disaster in the then evolving mass media.
The unifying element in Warhol’s work is his deadpan Keatonesque style artistically and personally affectless. This was mirrored by Warhol’s own demeanor, as he often played “dumb” to the media, and refused to explain his work. The artist was famous for having said that all you need to know about him and his works is already there, “Just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.”
His Rorschach inkblots are intended as pop comments on art and what art could be. His cow wallpaper (literally, wallpaper with a cow motif) and his oxidation paintings (canvases prepared with copper paint that was then oxidized with urine) are also noteworthy in this context. Equally noteworthy is the way these works and their means of production mirrored the atmosphere at Andy’s New York “Factory”. Biographer Bob Colacello provides some details on Andy’s “piss paintings”:
Victor… was Andy’s ghost pisser on the Oxidations. He would come to the Factory to urinate on canvases that had already been primed with copper-based paint by Andy or Ronnie Cutrone, a second ghost pisser much appreciated by Andy, who said that the vitamin B that Ronnie took made a prettier color when the acid in the urine turned the copper green. Did Andy ever use his own urine? My diary shows that when he first began the series, in December 1977, he did, and there were many others: boys who’d come to lunch and drink too much wine, and find it funny or even flattering to be asked to help Andy ‘paint.’ Andy always had a little extra bounce in his walk as he led them to his studio…
Warhol’s first portrait of Basquiat (1982) is a black photosilkscreen over an oxidized copper “piss painting”.
After many years of silkscreen, oxidation, photography, etc., Warhol returned to painting with a brush in hand in a series of over 50 large collaborative works done with Jean-Michel Basquiat between 1984 and 1986. These were influential for his later work.
Warhol’s The Last Supper cycle was his last series, possibly his largest and seen by some as “arguably his greatest”. It is also the largest series of religious works by any U.S. artist.
Warhol worked across a wide range of media painting, photography, drawing, and sculpture. In addition, he was a highly prolific filmmaker. Between 1963 and 1968, he made more than 60 films , plus some 500 short black-and-white “screen test” portraits of Factory visitors. One of his most famous films, Sleep, monitors poet John Giorno sleeping for six hours. The 35-minute film Blow Job is one continuous shot of the face of DeVeren Bookwalter supposedly receiving oral sex from filmmaker Willard Maas, although the camera never tilts down to see this. Another, Empire (1964), consists of eight hours of footage of the Empire State Building in New York City at dusk. The film Eat consists of a man eating a mushroom for 45 minutes. Warhol attended the 1962 premiere of the static composition by LaMonte Young called Trio for Strings and subsequently created his famous series of static films including Kiss, Eat, and Sleep (for which Young initially was commissioned to provide music). Uwe Husslein cites filmmaker Jonas Mekas, who accompanied Warhol to the Trio premiere, and who claims Warhol’s static films were directly inspired by the performance.
Batman Dracula is a 1964 film that was produced and directed by Warhol, without the permission of DC Comics. It was screened only at his art exhibits. A fan of the Batman series, Warhol’s movie was an “homage” to the series, and is considered the first appearance of a blatantly campy Batman. The film was until recently thought to have been lost, until scenes from the picture were shown at some length in the 2006 documentary Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis.
Warhol’s 1965 film Vinyl is an adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ popular dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange. Others record improvised encounters between Factory regulars such as Brigid Berlin, Viva, Edie Sedgwick, Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn, Ondine, Nico, and Jackie Curtis. Legendary underground artist Jack Smith appears in the film Camp.
His most popular and critically successful film was Chelsea Girls (1966). The film was highly innovative in that it consisted of two 16 mm-films being projected simultaneously, with two different stories being shown in tandem. From the projection booth, the sound would be raised for one film to elucidate that “story” while it was lowered for the other. The multiplication of images evoked Warhol’s seminal silk-screen works of the early 1960s.
Other important films include Bike Boy, My Hustler, and Lonesome Cowboys, a raunchy pseudo-western. These and other titles document gay underground and camp culture, and continue to feature prominently in scholarship about sexuality and art. Blue Movie a film in which Warhol superstar Viva makes love and fools around in bed with a man for 33 minutes of the film’s playing-time was Warhol’s last film as director. The film was at the time scandalous for its frank approach to a sexual encounter. For many years Viva refused to allow it to be screened. It was publicly screened in New York in 2005 for the first time in over thirty years.
After his June 3, 1968, shooting, a reclusive Warhol relinquished his personal involvement in filmmaking. His acolyte and assistant director, Paul Morrissey, took over the film-making chores for the Factory collective, steering Warhol-branded cinema towards more mainstream, narrative-based, B-movie exploitation fare with Flesh, Trash, and Heat. All of these films, including the later Andy Warhol’s Dracula and Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, were far more mainstream than anything Warhol as a director had attempted. These latter “Warhol” films starred Joe Dallesandro more of a Morrissey star than a true Warhol superstar.
In the early ’70s, most of the films directed by Warhol were pulled out of circulation by Warhol and the people around him who ran his business. After Warhol’s death, the films were slowly restored by the Whitney Museum and are occasionally projected at museums and film festivals. Few of the Warhol-directed films are available on video or DVD.
Factory in New York
Factory: 1342 Lexington Avenue (the first Factory)
The Factory: 231 East 47th street 1963-1967 (the building no longer exists)
Factory: 33 Union Square 1967-1973 (Decker Building)
Factory: 860 Broadway (near 33 Union Square) 1973-1984 (the building has now been completely remodeled and was for a time (2000-2001) the headquarters of the dot-com consultancy Scient)
Factory: 22 East 33rd Street 1984-1987 (the building no longer exists)
Home: 1342 Lexington Avenue
Home: 57 East 66th street (Warhol’s last home)
Last personal studio: 158 Madison Avenue
Main article: Andy Warhol filmography
In the mid 1960s, Warhol adopted the band The Velvet Underground, making them a crucial element of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia performance art show. Warhol, with Paul Morrissey, acted as the band’s manager, introducing them to Nico (who would perform with the band at Warhol’s request). In 1966 he “produced” their first album The Velvet Underground & Nico, as well as providing its album art. His actual participation in the album’s production amounted to simply paying for the studio time. After the band’s first album, Warhol and band leader Lou Reed started to disagree more about the direction the band should take, and their artistic friendship ended.
Warhol designed many album covers for various artists starting with the photographic cover of John Wallowitch’s debut album, This Is John Wallowitch!!! (1964). Warhol designed the cover art for The Rolling Stones albums Sticky Fingers (1971) and Love You Live (1977), and the John Cale album Honi Soit in 1981. In 1975, Warhol was commissioned to do several portraits of the band’s frontman Mick Jagger while in 1982, he designed the album cover for the Diana Ross album Silk Electric. One of his last works was a portrait of Aretha Franklin for the cover of her 1986 gold album Aretha, which was done in the style of the Reigning Queens series he had completed the year before.
Warhol was also friendly with many recording artists, including Deborah Harry, Grace Jones, Diana Ross and John Lennon – he designed the cover to Lennon’s 1986 posthumously released Menlove Ave.. Warhol also appeared as a bartender in The Cars’ music video for their single “Hello Again”, and Curiosity Killed The Cat’s video for their “Misfit” single (both videos, and others, were produced by Warhol’s video production company). Warhol featured in Grace Jones’ music video for “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You)”.
Warhol strongly influenced the New Wave/punk rock band Devo, as well as David Bowie. Bowie recorded a song called “Andy Warhol” for his 1971 album Hunky Dory. Lou Reed wrote the song “Andy’s Chest”, about Valerie Solanas, the woman who shot Warhol, in 1968. He recorded it with the Velvet Underground, but this version wasn’t officially released until the VU album appeared in 1985. He recorded a new version for his 1972 solo album Transformer, produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson.
Cover of copy no. 18 of 25 Cats Name [sic] Sam and One Blue Pussy by Andy Warhol given in 1954 to Edgar de Evia and Robert Denning when the author was a guest in their home in the Rhinelander Mansion.
Books and print
Beginning in the early 1950s, Warhol produced several unbound portfolios of his work.
The first of several bound self-published books by Warhol was 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy, printed in 1954 by Seymour Berlin on Arches brand watermarked paper using his blotted line technique for the lithographs. The original edition was limited to 190 numbered, hand colored copies, using Dr. Martin’s ink washes. Most of these were given by Warhol as gifts to clients and friends. Copy #4, inscribed “Jerry” on the front cover and given to Geraldine Stutz, was used for a facsimile printing in 1987 and the original was auctioned in May 2006 for US $35,000 by Doyle New York.
Other self-published books by Warhol include:
A Gold Book
After gaining fame, Warhol “wrote” several books that were commercially published:
a, A Novel (1968, ISBN 0-8021-3553-6) is a literal transcription containing spelling errors and phonetically written background noise and mumbling of audio recordings of Ondine and several of Andy Warhol’s friends hanging out at the Factory, talking, going out.
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again) (1975, ISBN 0-15-671720-4) according to Pat Hackett’s introduction to The Andy Warhol Diaries, Pat Hackett did the transcriptions and text for the book based on daily phone conversations, sometimes (when Warhol was traveling) using audio cassettes that Andy Warhol gave her. Said cassettes contained conversations with Brigid Berlin (also known as Brigid Polk) and former Interview magazine editor Bob Colacello.
Popism: The Warhol Sixties (1980, ISBN 0-15-672960-1), authored by Warhol and Pat Hackett is a retrospective view of the sixties and the role of Pop Art.
The Andy Warhol Diaries (1989, ISBN 0-446-39138-7), edited by Pat Hackett, is a diary dictated by Warhol to Hackett in daily phone conversations. Warhol started the diary to keep track of his expenses after being audited, although it soon evolved to include his personal and cultural observations.
Warhol created the fashion magazine Interview that is still published today. The loopy title script on the cover is thought to be either his own handwriting or that of his mother, Julia Warhola, who would often do text work for his early commercial pieces.
As stated, although Andy Warhol is most known for his paintings and films, he has authored works in many different media.
Drawing: Warhol started his career as a commercial illustrator, producing drawings in “blotted-ink” style for advertisements and magazine articles. Best known of these early works are his drawings of shoes. Some of his personal drawings were self-published in small booklets, such as Yum, Yum, Yum (about food), Ho, Ho, Ho (about Christmas) and (of course) Shoes, Shoes, Shoes. His most artistically acclaimed book of drawings is probably A Gold Book, compiled of sensitive drawings of young men. A Gold Book is so named because of the gold leaf that decorates its pages.
Sculpture: Warhol’s most famous sculpture is probably his Brillo Boxes, silkscreened ink on wood replicas of Brillo soap pad boxes (designed by James Harvey), part of a series of “grocery carton” sculptures that also included Heinz ketchup and Campbell’s tomato juice cases. Other famous works include the Silver Clouds helium filled, silver mylar, pillow-shaped balloons. A Silver Cloud was included in the traveling exhibition Air Art (1968-69) curated by Willoughby Sharp. Clouds was also adapted by Warhol for avant-garde choreographer Merce Cunningham’s dance piece RainForest (1968).
Audio: At one point Warhol carried a portable recorder with him wherever he went, taping everything everybody said and did. He referred to this device as his “wife”. Some of these tapes were the basis for his literary work. Another audio-work of Warhol’s was his “Invisible Sculpture”, a presentation in which burglar alarms would go off when entering the room. Warhol’s cooperation with the musicians of The Velvet Underground was driven by an expressed desire to become a music producer.
Time Capsules: In 1973, Warhol began saving ephemera from his daily life correspondence, newspapers, souvenirs, childhood objects, even used plane tickets and food which was sealed in plain cardboard boxes dubbed Time Capsules. By the time of his death, the collection grew to include 600, individually dated “capsules”. The boxes are now housed at the Andy Warhol Museum.
Television: Andy Warhol dreamed of a television show that he wanted to call The Nothing Special, a special about his favorite subject: Nothing. Later in his career he did create two cable television shows, Andy Warhol’s TV in 1982 and Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes (based on his famous “fifteen minutes of fame” quotation) for MTV in 1986. Besides his own shows he regularly made guest appearances on other programs, including The Love Boat wherein a Midwestern wife (Marion Ross) fears Andy Warhol will reveal to her husband (Tom Bosley, who starred alongside Ross in sitcom Happy Days) her secret past as a Warhol superstar named Marina del Rey. Warhol also produced a TV commercial for Schrafft’s Restaurants in New York City, for an ice cream dessert appropriately titled the “Underground Sundae”.
Fashion: Warhol is quoted for having said: “I’d rather buy a dress and put it up on the wall, than put a painting, wouldn’t you?”[cite this quote] One of his most well-known Superstars, Edie Sedgwick, aspired to be a fashion designer, and his good friend Halston was a famous one. Warhol’s work in fashion includes silkscreened dresses, a short sub-career as a catwalk-model and books on fashion as well as paintings with fashion (shoes) as a subject.
Performance Art: Warhol and his friends staged theatrical multimedia happenings at parties and public venues, combining music, film, slide projections and even Gerard Malanga in an S&M outfit cracking a whip. The Exploding Plastic Inevitable in 1966 was the culmination of this area of his work.
Theater: Andy Warhol’s PORK opened on May 5, 1971 at LaMama theater in New York for a two week run and was brought to the Roundhouse in London for a longer run in August, 1971. Pork was based on tape-recorded conversations between Brigin Berlin and Andy during which Brigid would play for Andy tapes she had made of phone conversations between herself and her mother, socialite Honey Berlin. The play featured Jayne County as “Vulva” and Cherry Vanilla as “Amanda Pork”. In 1974, Andy Warhol also produced the stage musical Man On The Moon, which was written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas.
Photography: To produce his silkscreens, Warhol made photographs or had them made by his friends and assistants. These pictures were mostly taken with a specific model of Polaroid camera that Polaroid kept in production especially for Warhol. This photographic approach to painting and his snapshot method of taking pictures has had a great effect on artistic photography. Warhol was an accomplished photographer, and took an enormous amount of photographs of Factory visitors, friends.
Computer: Warhol used Amiga computers to generate digital art, which he helped design and build with Amiga, Inc. He also displayed the difference between slow fill and fast fill on live TV with Debbie Harry as a model. (video)
Producer and product
Warhol had assistants in producing his paintings. This is also true of his film-making and commercial enterprises.
He founded the gossip magazine Interview, a stage for celebrities he “endorsed” and a business staffed by his friends. He collaborated with others on all of his books (some of which were written with Pat Hackett.) He adopted the young painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the band The Velvet Underground, presenting them to the public as his latest interest, and collaborating with them. One might even say that he produced people (as in the Warholian “Superstar” and the Warholian portrait). He endorsed products, appeared in commercials, and made frequent celebrity guest appearances on television shows and in films (he appeared in everything from Love Boat to Saturday Night Live and the Richard Pryor movie, Dynamite Chicken).
In this respect Warhol was a fan of “Art Business” and “Business Art” he, in fact, wrote about his interest in thinking about art as business in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again.
Two museums are dedicated to Andy Warhol. The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is located at 117 Sandusky Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the largest American art museum dedicated to a single artist, holding more than 12,000 works by the artist.
The other museum is the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art, established in 1991 by Andy’s brother John Warhola, the Slovak Ministry of Culture, and the Warhol Foundation in New York. It is located in the small town of Medzilaborce, Slovakia. Andy’s parents and his two brothers were born 15 kilometres away in the village of Mikov. The museum houses several originals donated mainly by the Andy Warhol Foundation in New York and also personal items donated by Warhol’s relatives.
Movies about Warhol
Warhol (right) with director Ulli Lommel on the set of 1979’s Cocaine Cowboys, in which Warhol appeared as himself
In 1979, Warhol appeared as himself in the film Cocaine Cowboys.
After his passing, Warhol was portrayed by Crispin Glover in Oliver Stone’s film The Doors (1991), by David Bowie in Basquiat, a film by Julian Schnabel, and by Jared Harris in the film I Shot Andy Warhol directed by Mary Harron (1996). Warhol appears as a character in Michael Daugherty’s 1997 opera Jackie O. Actor Mark Bringleson makes a brief cameo as Warhol in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). Many films by avant-garde cineast Jonas Mekas have caught the moments of Andy’s life. Sean Gregory Sullivan depicted Warhol in the 1998 film 54. Guy Pearce portrayed Warhol in the 2007 film, Factory Girl, about Edie Sedgwick’s life. Actor Greg Travis portrays Warhol in a brief scene from the 2009 film Watchmen.
Gus Van Sant was planning a version of Warhol’s life with River Phoenix in the lead role just before Phoenix’s death in 1993.
The 2001 documentary, Absolut Warhola was produced by Polish director Stanislaw Mucha, featuring Warhol’s parents’ family and hometown in Slovakia.
Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film is a reverential four-hour 2006 movie by Ric Burns.
Andy Warhol: Double Denied is a 52 minute movie by lan Yentob about the difficulties in authenticating Warhol’s work: http://www.myandywarhol.eu/videos/videos1.asp
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Andy Warhol
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board
Painting the Century 101 Portrait Masterpieces 1900-2000
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh
Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce
Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh.
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^ New York Times
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^ Schaffner (1999), p.73
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^ Bego, Mark (2001). Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul. Da Capo Press. p. 250. ISBN 0306809354. OCLC 46488152. http://books.google.com/books?id=ErKigdCXUwoC&pg=PA250&lpg=PA250&dq=warhol+album+cover+1986&source=bl&ots=6d-VHAN0LB&sig=zI_LeQmhKl9hs3EFjoz-Fz_JIho&hl=en&ei=SLXPSbvRCtfslQfLsq3qCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
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^ May 3, 2006 auction at Doyle New York retrieved August 14, 2006
^ Colacello, Bob (1990), p.183
^ Colacello, Bob (1990), pp.22-23
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^ Ferguson, Michael (2005). “Underground Sundae”. http://www.joedallesandro.com/sundae.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
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^ [http://design.osu.edu/carlson/history/PDFs/amiga-ieeespectrum.pdf “Amiga: The Computer That Wouldn Die”]. 2001. http://design.osu.edu/carlson/history/PDFs/amiga-ieeespectrum.pdf. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
^ Lommel, Ulli (director). Cocaine Cowboys
^ Hickenlooper, George (director). Factory Girl
^ Sant, Gus Van (2000). My Own Private Idaho. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-20259-4. OCLC 247737051. [page needed]
^ TLA Releasing (2004-03-09). “TLA Releasing Unveils the past of Famed Artist Andy Warhol to Reveal a Story Few Ever Imagined in: Absolut Warhola” (PDF). Press release. http://www.tlavideo.com/images/assets/97.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
^ Holden, Stephen (2006-09-01). “A Portrait of the Artist as a Visionary, a Voyeur and a Brand-Name Star”. The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/2006/09/01/movies/01warh.html. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
“A symposium on Pop Art”. Arts Magazine, April 1963, pp. 3645. The symposium was held in 1962, at The Museum of Modern Art, and published in this issue the following year.
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Doyle, Jennifer, Jonathan Flatley, and Jos Esteban Muoz eds. (1996). Pop Out: Queer Warhol. Durham: Duke University Press.
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David Cronenberg speaking about the work of Andy Warhol on UbuWeb
Warhol Foundation in New York City
Time Capsules: the Andy Warhol collection
“Andy Warhol”. New York City: Museum of Modern Art. 2007. http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O:AD:E:6246&page_number=1&template_id=6&sort_order=1. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
Warholstars: Andy Warhol Films, Art and Superstars
Pop Art Masters – Andy Warhol
Art Directors Club biography, portrait and images of work
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“Warhol, Soup Cans, Cowboys” (Studio 360 radio program, December 10, 2005)
exhibition of 10 statues of liberty in Gallerie Lavignes bastille, Paris 1986
The Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art – city of origin
Andy Warhol at the Internet Movie Database
Andy Warhol makes a digital painting of Debbie Harry at the Commodore Amiga product launch press conference in 1985.
v d e
Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) Marilyn Diptych (1962) Green Coca-Cola Bottles (1962) Shot Marilyns (1964) Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966) Big Electric Chair (1967) Campbell’s Soup Cans II (1969) Portrait of Seymour H. Knox (1985) Camouflage Self-Portrait (1986)
Sleep (1963) Screen Tests (19646) Blow Job (1964) Eat (1963) Batman Dracula (1964) Empire (1964) Taylor Mead’s Ass (1964) Vinyl (1965) Poor Little Rich Girl (1965) Beauty No. 1 (1965) Beauty No. 2 (1965) More Milk, Yvette (1965) Eating Too Fast (1966) The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound (1966) Salvador Dal (1966) Chelsea Girls (1966) I, a Man (1967) Lonesome Cowboys (1968) Blue Movie (1969) L’Amour (1973)
25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy (1954) a, A Novel (1968) The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (1975) Popism: The Warhol Sixties (1980) Diaries
The Factory The Velvet Underground Warhol Superstars
15 minutes of fame Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board Interview
The Andy Warhol Museum Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art
v d e
The Velvet Underground
John Cale Sterling Morrison Lou Reed Maureen Tucker Doug Yule
Willie Alexander Angus MacLise Walter Powers Billy Yule
The Velvet Underground & Nico White Light/White Heat The Velvet Underground Loaded Squeeze
Live at Max’s Kansas City 1969 Live MCMXCIII Final V.U. The Quine Tapes
VU Another View What Goes On Peel Slowly and See
After Hours All Tomorrow’s Parties European Son Femme Fatale Here She Comes Now Heroin I Heard Her Call My Name I’ll Be Your Mirror I’m Waiting for the Man Lady Godiva’s Operation New Age Pale Blue Eyes Rock & Roll Run Run Run Sister Ray Stephanie Says Sunday Morning Sweet Jane The Black Angel’s Death Song The Gift There She Goes Again Venus in Furs White Light/White Heat