Andy WarholVan Heusen (Ronald Reagan) (FS II.356)
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About Andy Warhol (Artist)
The name of American artist Andy Warhol is all but synonymous with Pop art, the movement he helped shape in the 1960s. He is known for his clever appropriation of motifs and images from popular advertising and commercials, which he integrated into graphic, vibrant works that utilized mass-production technologies such as printmaking, photography and silkscreening. Later in his career, he expanded his oeuvre to include other forms of media, founding Interview magazine and producing fashion shoots and films on-site at the Factory, his world-famous studio in New York.
Born and educated in in Pittsburgh, Warhol moved to New York City in 1949 and built a successful career as a commercial illustrator. Although he made whimsical drawings as a hobby during these years, his career as a fine artist began in the mid-1950s with ink-blot drawings and hand-drawn silkscreens. The 1955 lithograph You Can Lead a Shoe to Water illustrates how he incorporated in his artwork advertising styles and techniques, in this case shoe commercials.
As a child, Warhol was often sick and spent much of his time in bed, where he would make sketches and put together collections of movie-star photographs. He described this period as formative in terms of his skills and interests. Indeed, Warhol remained obsessed with celebrities throughout his career, often producing series devoted to a famous face or an object from the popular culture, such as Chairman Mao or Campbell’s tomato soup. The1967 silkscreen Marilyn 25 embodies his love of bright color and famous subjects.
Warhol was a prominent cultural figure in New York during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. The Factory was a gathering place for the era’s celebrities, writers, drag queens and fellow artists, and collaboration was common. To this day, Warhol remains one of the most important artists of the 20th century and continues to exert influence on contemporary creators.