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ANDY WARHOL – The Founder of Pop Art

Posted by Rebecca Keogh on

ANDY WARHOL – The Founder of Pop Art

Today is Andy Warhol’s birthday, he would have been 93.

Andy was born Andrew Warhola, in Pennsylvania.  He was the youngest of three boys and his parents were Slovakian immigrants.

He was one of the most prolific and popular artists of his time.  He was seen as the leader of the Pop Art Movement.  Not everyone thought that though!

Before we venture into his eccentric life, we’d like to welcome you to Artist Appreciation Month, which is throughout the month of August.

Here at Paint Plot, we are so proud that we get to work with so many talented artists and that when you purchase from us, you can do so knowing that the artist has been properly compensated.

To celebrate artist appreciation month, throughout August we are going to be sharing some interesting facts about the lives of famous artists as well as some of our Paint Plot Artists.

If you have an artist you’d like us to feature, let us know via support@paintplot.com.au.

Today is all about Andy Warhol.

Andy contracted Chorea (a neurological disease) when he was eight years old.  This confined him to bed for some time.  His mother gave him drawing lessons and he fell in love with this medium.  After graduating High School in 1945, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Pictorial Design in 1949.

He moved to New York to pursue a career as a commercial artist.  He landed a job at ‘Glamour Magazine’ and went on to become one of the most successful commercial artists of the 1950’s.

Warhol began devoting more time to painting and in 1961 he debuted the concept of ‘pop art’.  Paintings that focused on mass produced commercial goods.  The iconic Campbell soup cans and plain black and white Cocoa Cola bottles were just two of his famous ‘pop art’ styles.

He also painted celebrity portraits in vivid and garish colours.  His most famous subjects included Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Mick Jagger.  The portrait of “Eight Elvises” resold for $100 million in 2008, making it one of the most valuable paintings in world history.

However, in 1968 his thriving career almost ended.  He was shot by Valerie Solanas who was an aspiring writer, actress and radical feminist.  He had by this time ventured into film making and Valerie who had appeared in one of his films was upset by the fact that he had refused to use a script that she had written.  Three shots were fired and only one hit him.  He was very fortunate to survive and as a result of the injuries he had to wear a surgical corset for the rest of his life.

5 more interesting facts about Andy Warhol’s life:

  • Andy was a religious man, he took his spirituality seriously and often volunteered in homeless shelters throughout New York.
  • His work is featured in the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. In his will, the artist dictated his entire estate be used to create a foundation for “the advancement of the visual arts.” The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established in 1987.
  • Andy had so many possessions that it took Sotheby’s nine days to auction off all of his stuff. In the end, his estate was able to make over $20 million.
  • Of his well-documented ‘collections’, his wigs were said to be his favourite. He had over 40 that were imported from Italy. He wore them daily and even had them styled and cut at the salon.
  • Famous Andy Warhol quotes:
    ‘Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes’
    ‘Art is what you can get away with’ 
    ‘I am a deeply superficial person’

Andy’s untimely death due to post op complications after a gall bladder operation was a shock to the World.                 

In celebration of Andy’s birthday today here is a few ‘Pop Art’ favourites that we would recommend.

One thing is for sure Andy Warhol will be forever known for his quirky, controversial prints.


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