(Pittsburgh, 1928 - 1987)
Actually Andy Warhol’s name was Andrew Warhola. He was born in Pittsburgh, America to a miners family of Czech immigrants. He had to start from nothing but he was enormously ambitious. He trained as a graphic designer and soon got commissions from fashionable and sophisticated magazines.
Besides accepting advertising commissions he also started to paint. His debut exhibition as an artist in 1962 consisted of series of Coca Cola bottles, tins of Campbell’s soup and dollar bills. Someone advised him to paint the things he loved most./p>
He wanted to present everyday stereotypes like comic strips, advertising, fast food and stars of the glamour world as art. Warhol said: ”Everything is beautiful, even car accidents, the electric chair or Marilyn Monroe after her death”./p>
After a period of picturesque work he changed to silk screen technique which he, as the first international artist, made popular. This technique also facilitated serial productions. He did not only work in series, he also thought in series. His motto was ‘Quantity is Quality’./p>
Warhol was the first artist who thought a personal style was not important. By choosing subjects from the consumer society and digesting them in an unemotional way, Warhol was the purest artist from the Pop Art scene. Particularly the media were a source of inspiration to Warhol. “I am married with my television”, he once said. Television and gossip magazines gave an endless stream of stars and glamour. Warhol was fascinated by the cult of stardom./p>
In 1963 he founded The Factory, his famous studio. This was a complete studio where people were constantly making silk screens, films, music and photos. Warhol became more and more a work of art himself during his career. The gossip magazines pursued him all the time and he enjoyed it. As long as it was amusing, impressive and in particular brought in the money./p>
The prices of his works of art soared. He governed the art world in the field of paintings, but also of films, music, magazines and cable TV. Among others he founded a band the Velvet Underground. They practised in his factory. Andy Warhol became a trademark. He was a personality, the embodiment of the American Dream.