Andy Warhol  

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"The "Death and Disaster" paintings (such as "Red Car Crash", "Purple Jumping Man", "Orange Disaster") transformed personal tragedies into public spectacles, and signalled the use of images of disaster in the then evolving media." --S. Stein


In third grade, Warhol came down with St. Vitus' dance, an affliction of the nervous system causing involuntary movements which is believed to be a complication of scarlet fever. This disease led to a blotchiness in pigmentation of his skin and, as a child, he became somewhat of a hypochondriac, developing a fear of hospitals and medical doctors. Because he was at times bed-ridden as a child, he became an outcast among his school-mates and bonded with his mother very strongly (Guiles, 1989). When in bed he used to draw, listen to the radio and collect pictures of movie stars around his bed. Looking back later, Warhol described the period of his sickness as very important in the development of his personality and in the forming of his skill-set and preferences.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. Today, he is best known for his Campbell's Soup Cans and his Death and Disaster series.

Warhol's art used many types of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1985, two years before his death. He founded Interview magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. He managed and produced The Velvet Underground, a rock band which had a strong influence on the evolution of punk rock music. He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a well known gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression "15 minutes of fame". Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)". A 2009 article in The Economist described Warhol as the "bellwether of the art market". Warhol's works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Andy Warhol" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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