La historia más completa de AndyWarhol.

I never wanted to be a painter; I wanted to be a tap dancer

Andrew Warhola, Jr. (born in Pittsburgh, August 6, 1928 and died in New York on February 22, 1987), known as Andy Warhol, was an American plastic artist and filmmaker who played a crucial role in the birth and Development of Pop Art. After a successful career as a professional illustrator, Warhol gained worldwide notoriety for his work in painting, avant-garde cinema and literature, which was supported by his skill with the media and his role as a guru of modernity. Warhol acted as a liaison between artists and intellectuals, but also between aristocrats, homosexuals, Hollywood celebrities, drug addicts, models, bohemians and colorful urban characters.

One of Warhol's most popular contributions was his statement: "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." This phrase in a certain way predicted the current power of the media and the heyday of the tabloid press and reality shows.

He was a controversial character during his life - some critics described his works as pretentious or practical jokes - and since his death in 1987 he has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, analyzes, books and documentaries. In addition, he is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century due to his revolutionary work.


Third child of a Slovak couple who emigrated to the United States. His parents, Andrej and Ulja Warhola, were from a Miková (population) then belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1914 his father emigrated to the United States to work in coal mines, and his mother emigrated seven years later with their two older children.

While in the third grade, Andy began to suffer the popularly known as the San Vito dance. This disease causes uncontrolled movements of the extremities and disorders in the pigmentation of the skin. Since then he has been a hypochondriac and developed a dread of doctors and hospitals. He spent much of his childhood in bed and became an outlaw among his classmates, causing him to create a strong fixation on his mother. While in bed he would draw, listen to the radio, and collect pictures of movie stars that he placed around his bed. Later, he defined this stage as very important in the later development of his personality, his abilities and his tastes.

Early in his career


How did Andy Warhol start in art?


He studied Commercial Art at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh). In 1949 he moved to New York to start a career as a magazine illustrator and publicist. During the 1950s he gained a certain reputation thanks to his illustrations for a shoe ad.

With the new technologies of vinyl records and high fidelity, they found something different and completely new in it that they would soon explode. RCA hired Warhol and Sid Maurer to design the album covers, signage, and promotional materials.


His first solo exhibition was at the Californian Ferusel Gallery in 1962 and marked the debut of the Pop Art movement on the West Coast. Four months later, he opened his first exhibition in New York. There he included The Marilyn Diptych, 100 cans of soup, 100 bottles of cola, and 100 dollar bills.

He founded his studio The Factory, where artists, writers, models, musicians and underground celebrities of the moment passed. "The workshop" was decorated with sheets of silver colored aluminum foil.


The first drawings and works of Andy Warhol


He began to paint his famous Campbell soup drawings, using images from newspapers, billboards, and television to define a particular Olympus, made up of symbols of American culture: the electric chair, the photographs of police charges against rights protesters. civilians or the portraits of celebrities of the moment. The Coca-Cola bottle became, for him, a pictorial subject. On this he stated:

“What's great about this country is that the United States has started a tradition where the wealthiest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV, see a Coca-Cola commercial and you know that the President drinks Coca-Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca-Cola and you think that you can drink Coca-Cola too. A queue is a queue, and no money in the world can make you find a better queue than the one the beggar on the corner is drinking. All the queues are the same and all the queues are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the beggar knows it, and you know it. "


Andy Warhol and Pop Art


The MOMA organized a symposium on Pop Art in December 1962 and some artists, including Warhol, were attacked for "surrendering" to consumerism. For the most critical of art, Warhol's enthusiasm for consumerism was inadmissible. Throughout the 1960s it became increasingly evident the profound changes in culture and the art world, and also that Warhol had played an essential role in that change.

A pivotal event was The American Supermarket exhibit, an exhibition held in 1964 at the Paul Bianchinni Gallery. It was organized like the typical small American supermarket, although the products on display (preserves, meat or desserts) were the work of prominent pop artists. Andy Warhol's contribution was a painting of a Campbell's soup can, valued at $ 1,500. The funny thing is that the can only cost 6 dollars.

Warhol called on assistants to increase the productivity of his art workshop. One of the most important collaborators of this time was Gerard Malanga, who assisted him in the production of serigraphs, films, sculptures and other works produced at The Factory.


During the 1960s he also brought together a motley crew of eccentrics and bohemians, whom he called the superstars. All of them used to act in Warhol films and some, like Berlin, maintained a close friendship with the artist until his death. Towards the end of that decade, Warhol himself had become a celebrity and appeared frequently in the press, escorted by one of his colleagues at the Factory.

In 1965 he met the music group The Velvet Underground, led by Lou Reed. He soon became the group's manager and added his friend, the German singer Nico. In 1967 the Velvet album called The Velvet Underground and Nico: Andy Warhol, produced by him, was released.


On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and art critic and curator Mario Amaya at the entrance to Warhol's studio. As a result of the attack he said: I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. "

Solanas had been a low-key member of the Factory collective. According to Solanas, "he had too much control over my life," and had been expelled from the Factory after demanding the return of a script that he had given to Warhol and that, apparently, had been misplaced. Warhol, received six shots of which barely survived.

As a result of the attack, Warhol declared that "before they shot me, I always thought I was a little further away than here.


The 70s were quieter years for Warhol, he became an entrepreneur. He spent most of his time proposing portraits of celebrities like Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon, Diana Ross, Brigitte Bardot, and Michael Jackson. The famous portrait of the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong is from this time (1973). He also founded, with the support of Gerard Malanga, the magazine "Interview", and published "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol" (1975), with phrases such as: "Making money is art, and work is art, and a good business is the best art". Warhol used to frequent New York nightclubs such as Max's Kansas City, Serendipity 3, and the celebrated Studio 54. He was usually a quiet, shy, and meticulous observer. In the 70s he made portraits of his friends, regular clients of the Studio 54 nightclub, among them Carolina Herrera, Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor. It is also when he was hired by various car manufacturers to paint their racing vehicles in a striking way, such as the BMW firm. This is how the Art Car was created. Its time capsules are famous where it kept (since 1974) everyday things in cardboard boxes.


During the 80s it was his second youth for criticism and business, partly thanks to his close relationship with some of the new figures of art and other figures of the so-called neo-expressionism, as well as by the company of European trans-avant-garde artists. At that time he was accused of being a "business artist". He received bad reviews for his portraits of celebrities from the 70s, they called him superficial, easy and commercial. This made his next exhibition on "Jewish Geniuses" (1980) also poorly received.

In 1981 he began to paint details of paintings by Renaissance artists such as Da Vinci, Botticelli and Uccello. In 1983 he made the portrait of the Spanish singer Miguel Bosé for the cover of an album. Later he would mention him in a book as "son of a Spanish bullfighter." Warhol also appeared in his video clip Fallen Angels. That year he visited Madrid, where he was enthusiastically received by Almodóvar, Fabio McNamara and other personalities from Madrid's culture and social life. Despite everything, the exhibition he presented in the city had very few sales.

At that time, Warhol produced not only for people in his circle, but for large sums he also produced for designers, businessmen and other wealthy people, including the couturier Valentino.

In 1986 he painted what will be his last works, self-portraits and portraits of Lenin and Mao Tse Tung.


The operation and death of Andy Warhol


Warhol died in New York on the morning of February 22, 1987. According to the newspapers, he was recovering without difficulty from a gallbladder operation at New York Hospital when he died asleep due to a sudden arrhythmia. Before his diagnosis and the subsequent operation, Warhol had tried to delay the examinations, mainly due to his dread of hospitals and doctors.

His brothers brought Warhol's body to Pittsburgh for the funeral. The coffin was a solid bronze piece, with gold trim and white supports. Warhol wore a black suit and cashmere tie, a silver wig, and his trademark sunglasses. He was carrying a red rose and a small breviary (Catholic religious liturgy book). The coffin was covered by white roses and asparagus buds. Before the descent from the coffin, Paige Powell dropped a copy of "Interview," a T-shirt from the same magazine, and a bottle of Estée Lauder's Beautiful perfume. Warhol was buried alongside his mother and father.

Warhol's will bequeathed all of his property - with the exception of some modest details - to members of his family, in order to create a foundation dedicated to the "advancement of the visual arts." In 1987, in accordance with Warhol's last will, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was formed. The foundation also defends its mission of "spurring innovation in artistic expression and the creative process", and declares itself "focused mainly on supporting the work of an experimental or groundbreaking value".


Andy Warhol's museums


There are two museums dedicated to Warhol. One is the Carnegie in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with more than 12,000 pieces by Warhol which is the largest museum dedicated to a single artist in the entire United States. The second is the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art, founded in 1991 by his brother John Warhola, the Slovak Government Ministry of Culture, and the Warhol Foundation in New York. It is located in the small town near Miková, the town where Warhol's parents were born, in Slovakia.

In addition to painting and sculpture, Warhol is known for his collaborations with the musical group The Velvet Underground and for a series of films with high erotic content such as Eat, The Chelsea Girls or Blue Movie. In addition to the erotic theme, he shot long-term productions where if you didn't fall asleep from boredom, you could see the same image at different times of the day, such as the eight-hour movie Empire, which is set at the Empire State Building and during that time you only see the same image throughout the day.


As important as his work is the public image that he projects as an artist and as an intellectual. Andy Warhol knows this and plays on his androgynous image.

In short, he was always a very reserved character with everything related to his life. He was unable to commit himself emotionally, he avoided direct communication and expressing his feelings and emotions (like his paintings: Planes y Basicas). To end one of his quotes: “I have never met anyone who could not be considered a beauty.” Andy Warhol was more than anything a teacher, especially of reinterpretation.




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