Andy Warhol

(Pittsburgh 1928 - 1987 New York)

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Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was born as Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh as the son of poor farmer’s family with Russinian origin. He is the cofounder and most important representative of the American Pop Art. After studying advertising art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in his hometown, he moved to N.Y.C. and started his career as a graphic designer and illustrator for numerous fashion and lifestyle magazines in the 1950. This was also when he signed a drawing with “Andy Warhol” for the first time. He participated in his first exhibition, which took place in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as a graphic designer, not as an artist. Even though he was one of the best paid graphic designers in Manhattan, he gave up on his career to become a freelance artist. His motifs derived from advertising and the pop culture – Hollywood stars, superheroes, comic characters – and distanced himself from predominant Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting. At the beginning of the 1960ies he started working with screen printing, creating series of well-known motifs, such as the “Mona Lisa”, the quantitative copying being worth more than the original. Warhol’s saying “that art produces itself, as all models are already there” becomes comprehensive and enhances his radical point of view. In the series “Death and Disaster” and “Electric Chair” the artist uses press photos that he artistically alters to thematise the aesthetics of gruesomeness and how one can technically manipulate reality. His New York workshops, so called “Factories”, became meeting points of the artistic scene of the time. Also, they served as set for many of Warhol’s films. During a shooting at the Factory, Andy Warhol was severely injured, which resulted in the party scene moving to the infamous Studio 54. 1969 he founded one of the world’s first lifestyle magazines. Andy Warhol was a pioneer of developing post-modernist aesthetics, acknowledging new manners of expression, whilst simultaneously handling the overwhelmingly large flow of communication that was beginning to become unmanageable. The artist unexpectedly died in New York in 1987 after an operation.

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