|Worldvisitguide > Andy Warhola (Andy Warhol)|
|Andy Warhola (Andy Warhol)|
|Andy Warhola (Andy Warhol)|
Born in : Pittsburgh - 1928 / Dead in : New York City, 1987Pop art
Andrew Warhola, better known as Andy Warhol, was an American artist and a central figure in the movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter, an avant-garde filmmaker, a record producer, an author, and a public figure known for his membership in wildly diverse social circles that included bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy aristocrats.
A controversial figure during his lifetime (his work was often derided by critics as a hoax, or "put-on"), Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, feature and documentary films since his death in 1987.
Warhol coined the phrase 15 minutes of fame, which refers to the fleeting condition of celebrity that attaches to an object of media attention, then passes to some new object as soon as the public's attention span is exhausted.
Childhood and early career
Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Andy was the third child of his parents, Ondrej (Andrew) Warhola (the surname was spelled Varchola in Europe, and was modified after immigrating to America) and Julia Warhola, née Ulja (Julia) Justyna Zavacky. His parents were working-class immigrants of Lemkos-Rusyns (Ruthenian) ethnicity from Mezőlaborc, now Medzilaborce, of Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in northeast Slovakia). Warhol's father migrated to the USA in 1914, while his mother joined him in 1921, after the death of Andy Warhol's grandparents. Warhol's father worked in a coal mine. The family lived at 55 Beelen Street and later at 3252 Dawson Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The family was Byzantine Catholic and attended St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Andy Warhol has two older brothers John and Paul.
In third grade Warhol had St. Vitus' dance, a nervous system disease causing involuntary movements, which is believed to be a complication of scarlet fever and causes skin pigmentation blotchiness. He became somewhat of a hypochondriac, developing a fear of hospitals and doctors. Often bed-ridden as a child, he became an outcast among his school-mates and bonded with his mother very strongly (Guiles, 1989). When in bed he drew, listened to the radio and collected pictures of movie stars around his bed. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality, skill-set and preferences.
Warhol showed an early artistic talent and studied commercial art at the School of Fine Arts at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh (now Carnegie Mellon University). In 1949, he moved to New York City and began a successful career in magazine illustration and advertising. During the 1950s, he gained fame for his whimsical ink drawings of shoe advertisements. These were done in a loose, blotted ink style, and figured in some of his earliest showings in New York at the Bodley Gallery. With the concurrent rapid expansion of the record industry and the introduction of the vinyl record, Hi-Fi, and stereophonic recordings, RCA Records hired Warhol, along with another freelance artist, Sid Maurer, to design album covers and promotional materials.
Andy Warhol's first New York solo Pop exhibit was hosted at Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery November 6-24th, 1962. The exhibit included the works "Marilyn diptych," "100 Soup Cans," "100 Coke Bottles" and "100 Dollar Bills." At the Stable Gallery exhibit the artist met for the first time John Giorno who would star in Warhol's first film, "Sleep," in 1963.
It was during the 1960s that Warhol began to make paintings of famous American products such as "Campbell's Soup Cans" from the Campbell Soup Company and Coca-Cola, as well as paintings of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Troy Donahue, and Elizabeth Taylor. He founded "The Factory", his studio during these years and gathered around himself a wide range of artists, writers, musicians, and underground celebrities. He switched to silkscreen prints which he produced serially, seeking not only to make art of mass-produced items but to mass produce the art itself. By minimizing the role of his own hand in the production of his work and declaring that he wanted to be "a machine", Warhol sparked a revolution in art. His work quickly became very controversial and popular.
Warhol's work from this period revolves around American Pop (Popular) culture. He painted dollar bills, celebrities, brand name products and images from newspaper clippings - many of the latter were iconic images from headline stories of the decade (e.g. photographs of mushroom clouds, and police dogs attacking civil rights protesters). His subjects were instantly recognizable and often had a mass appeal. This aspect interested him most and it unifies his paintings from this period. Take for example Warhol's comments on the appeal of Coke:
" What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it". (The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (From A to B and Back Again), 1975, ISBN 0-15-671720)
This quotation both expresses his affection for popular culture, and evidences an ambiguity of perspective that cuts across nearly all of the artist's statements about his own work.
New York's Museum of Modern Art hosted a Symposium on pop art in December 1962 during which artists like Warhol were attacked for "capitulating" to consumerism. Critics were scandalized by Warhol's open embrace of market culture. This symposium set the tone for Warhol's reception. Throughout the decade it became more and more clear that there had been a profound change in the culture of the art world, and that Warhol was at the center of that shift.
A pivotal event was the 1964 exhibit "The American Supermarket," a show held in Paul Bianchini's Upper East Side gallery. The show was presented as a typical small supermarket environment, except that everything in it from the produce, canned goods, meat, posters on the wall, etc. were created by six prominent pop artists of the time including the controversial (and like-minded) Billy Apple, Mary Inman, and Robert Watts. Warhol's painting of a can of Campbell's soup cost $1,500 while each autographed can sold for $6. The exhibit was one of the first mass events that directly confronted the general public with both Pop Art and the perennial question of what is art.
As an advertisement illustrator in the 1950s, Warhol used assistants to increase his productivity. Collaboration would remain a defining (and controversial) aspect of his working methods throughout his career; in the 1960s, however, this was particularly true. One of the most important collaborators during this period was Gerard Malanga. Malanga assisted the artist with producing silkscreens, films, sculpture, and other works at "The Factory", Warhol's aluminum foil-and-silver-paint-lined studio on 47th Street (later moved to Broadway). Other members of Warhol's Factory crowd included Freddie Herko, Ondine, Ronald Tavel, Mary Woronov, Pietro Psaier, Billy Name, and Brigid Berlin (from whom he apparently got the idea to tape record his phone conversations).
During this decade, Warhol also groomed a retinue of bohemian eccentrics upon whom he bestowed the designation "Superstars", including Edie Sedgwick, Viva, and Ultra Violet. These people all participated in the Factory films, and some, like Berlin, remained friends with Warhol until his death. Important figures in the New York underground art/cinema world (e.g. writer John Giorno, film-maker Jack Smith) also appear in Warhol films of the 1960s, revealing Warhol's connections to a diverse range of artistic scenes during this period. By the end of the decade, Andy Warhol was himself a celebrity, appearing frequently in newspapers and magazines alongside Factory cohorts like Sedgwick.
On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and art critic and curator Mario Amaya at Warhol's studio.
Before the shooting, Solanas had been a marginal figure in the Factory scene. She founded a "group" called S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting up Men) and authored the S.C.U.M. Manifesto, a separatist feminist attack on patriarchy. Solanas appears in the 1968 Warhol film, I, A Man. Earlier on the day of the attack, Solanas had been turned away from the Factory after asking for the return of a script she had given to Warhol. The script, apparently, had been misplaced.
Amaya received only minor injuries and was released from the hospital later the same day. Warhol however, was seriously wounded by the attack and barely survived (doctors opened his chest and massaged his heart to help stimulate its movement again). He suffered physical effects for the rest of his life. The shooting had a profound effect on Warhol's life and art.
Solanas was arrested the day after the assault. By way of explanation, she said that "He had too much control over my life." After the shooting, the Factory scene became much more tightly controlled, and for many this event brought the "Factory 60s" to an end.
The shooting was mostly overshadowed in the media due to the murder of Robert F. Kennedy two days later. On recalling the event of the shooting Warhol stated, "Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there. I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life".
Compared to the success and scandal of Warhol's work in the 1960s, the 1970s would prove a much quieter decade. This period, however, saw Warhol becoming more entrepreneurial. According to Bob Colacello, Warhol devoted much of his time to rounding up new, rich patrons for portrait commissions - including Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon, Diana Ross, Brigitte Bardot, and Michael Jackson. Warhol's famous portrait of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong was created in 1973. He also founded, with Gerard Malanga, Interview magazine, and published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (1975). In this book, he presents his ideas on the nature of art: "Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art."
Warhol used to socialize at Serendipity 3 and, later in the 70s, Studio 54, nightspots in New York City. He was generally regarded as quiet, shy, and as a meticulous observer. Art critic Robert Hughes called him "the white mole of Union Square".
Warhol had a re-emergence of critical and financial success in the 1980s, partially due to his affiliation and friendships with a number of prolific younger artists, who were dominating the "bull market" of '80s New York art: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, David Salle and the so-called Neo-Expressionists, as well as Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi and members of the Transavantguardia movement, which had become influential.
By this period, Warhol's work had engendered controversy as to whether he had merely become a "business artist". In 1979 unfavorable reviews met his exhibits of portraits of 1970s personalities and celebrities, calling them superficial, facile and commercial, with no depth or indication of the significance of the subjects. This criticism was echoed for his 1980 exhibit of ten portraits at the Jewish Museum in New York, entitled "Jewish Geniuses", which Warhol, who exhibited no interest in Judaism or matters of interest to Jews, had described in his diary as "They're going to sell.".
In hindsight, however, some critics have come to the realization that Warhol's superficiality and commerciality was in fact "the most brilliant mirror of our times", and that "Warhol had captured something irresistible about the zeitgeist of American culture in the 1970s".
Warhol also had an appreciation for intense Hollywood glamour. He once said: "I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're so beautiful. Everything's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic."
Many people think of Warhol as "asexual" and merely a "voyeur", but these notions have been debunked by biographers (such as Victor Bockris), explored by other members of The Factory scene such as Bob Colacello (in his book Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up), and by scholars like art historian Richard Meyer (in his book Outlaw Representation). The question of how his sexuality influenced Warhol's work and shaped his relationship to the art world is a major subject of scholarship on the artist, and is an issue that Warhol himself addressed in interviews, in conversation with his contemporaries, and in his publications (e.g. Popism : The Warhol Sixties).
Throughout his career, Warhol produced erotic photography and drawings of male nudes. Many of his most famous works (portraits of Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, and films like Blow Job, My Hustler, and Lonesome Cowboys) draw from gay underground culture and/or openly explore the complexity of sexuality and desire. Many of his films premiered in gay porn theaters. That said, some stories about Warhol's development as an artist revolved around the obstacle his sexuality initially presented as he tried to launch his career. The first works that he submitted to a gallery in the pursuit of a career as an artist were homoerotic drawings of male nudes. They were rejected for being too openly gay.
In Popism, furthermore, the artist recalls a conversation with the film maker Emile de Antonio about the difficulty Warhol had being accepted socially by the then more famous (but closeted) gay artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. De Antonio explained that Warhol was "too swish and that upsets them." In response to this, Warhol writes, "There was nothing I could say to that. It was all too true. So I decided I just wasn't going to care, because those were all the things that I didn't want to change anyway, that I didn't think I 'should' want to change ... Other people could change their attitudes but not me". In exploring Warhol's biography, many turn to this period - the late 1950s and early 1960s - as a key moment in the development of his persona. Some have suggested that his frequent refusal to comment on his work, to speak about himself (confining himself in interviews to responses like "Uhm, No" and "Uhm, Yes", and often allowing others to speak for him), and even the evolution of his Pop style can be traced to the years when Warhol was first dismissed by the inner circles of the New York art world.
Warhol was a practicing Byzantine Rite Catholic. He regularly volunteered at homeless shelters in New York, particularly during the busier times of the year, and described himself as a religious person. Many of his later works contain almost-hidden religious themes or subjects, and a body of religious-themed works was found posthumously in his estate. Warhol also regularly attended Mass during his life, and the priest at Warhol's church, Saint Vincent's, said that the artist went there almost daily. His art is noticeably influenced by the eastern Christian iconographic tradition which was so evident in his places of worship.
Warhol's brother has described the artist as "really religious, but he didn't want people to know about that because (it was) private." Despite the private nature of his faith, in Warhol's eulogy John Richardson depicted it as devout: "To my certain knowledge, he was responsible for at least one conversion. He took considerable pride in financing his nephew's studies for the priesthood".
Warhol died in New York City at 6:32 a.m. on February 22, 1987. According to news reports, he had been making good recovery from a routine gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital before dying in his sleep from a sudden heart attack. It was alleged that hospital staff had failed to adequately monitor his condition and overloaded him with fluids after his operation, causing him to suffer from a fatal case of water intoxication, which prompted Warhol's lawyers to sue the hospital for negligence. Prior to his diagnosis and operation, Warhol delayed having his recurring gallbladder problems checked, as he was afraid to enter hospitals and see doctors.
Warhol's body was taken back to Pittsburgh by his brothers for burial. The wake was at Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home and was an open-coffin ceremony. The coffin was a solid bronze casket with gold plated rails and white upholstery. Warhol wore a black cashmere suit, a paisley tie, a platinum wig, and sunglasses. He was holding a small prayer book and a red rose.
The funeral liturgy was held at the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church on Pittsburgh's North Side. The eulogy was given by Monsignor Peter Tay. Fellow artist Yoko Ono also made an appearance. The coffin was covered with white roses and asparagus ferns.
After the liturgy, the coffin was driven to St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a south suburb of Pittsburgh. At the grave, the priest said a brief prayer and sprinkled holy water on the casket. Before the coffin was lowered, Paige Powell dropped a copy of Interview magazine, an Interview t-shirt, and a bottle of the Estee Lauder perfume "Beautiful" into the grave. Warhol was buried next to his mother and father.
Weeks later a memorial service was held in Manhattan for Warhol on April 1, 1987 at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York.
Warhol had so many possessions that it took Sotheby's nine days to auction his estate after his death; the auction grossed more than US$20 million. His total estate was worth considerably more, in no small part due to shrewd investments over the years.
Two years after Warhol's death, Songs for Drella, a co-commissioned work by The Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Arts at St. Ann's in New York City, was staged as a concept album performed by Lou Reed and John Cale, alumni of The Velvet Underground. The performance was filmed and directed by Ed Lachman, on December 6, 1989, and released on VHS and laserdisc formats. It was released on CD in a black velveteen package in 1990 by Sire Records. Drella was a nickname coined by Warhol superstar Ondine for Warhol, a portmanteau of Dracula and Cinderella, used by Warhol's crowd.
Songs for Drella offers a kind of vie romancée of Warhol, focusing on his interpersonal relations. The songs fall roughly into three categories: Warhol's (semi-fictitious) first-person perspective, third-person narratives chronicling events and affairs, and first-person feelings towards and commentaries on Warhol by Reed and Cale themselves. On Drella, Reed apologizes to a departed Warhol and comes to terms with his part in their personal conflict.
Reed and Cale had been playing the songs live in 1989 as a song cycle before committing them to tape. By the end of recording Cale vowed never to work with Reed again due to personal differences; nevertheless, Songs for Drella would prove to be the overture to a full-blown Velvet Underground reunion.
Although the album was conceived as an indivisible whole, a single was released off it, "Nobody But You".
On the twentieth anniversary of his death The Gershwin Hotel in New York City held a week-long series of events commemorating Warhol's art and his superstars. There was an award ceremony, a fashion show, and Blondie performed at the closing party. At the same time, The Carrozzini von Buhler Gallery in New York City held an exhibit titled, Andy Warhol: In His Wake. The exhibit featured the art of Warhol's superstars Ultra Violet, Billy Name, Taylor Mead, and Ivy Nicholson as well as art by a younger generation of artists who have been inspired by Warhol. One interactive sculpture in the exhibit, The Great Warhola, by Cynthia von Buhler, depicted Warhol as an arcade fortune-telling machine. The gallery was transformed to look like Warhol's silver factory. Factory Girl, a film about the life of Edie Sedgwick, starring Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen, was also released one week before the anniversary of Warhol's death.
By the beginning of the 1960s, Warhol was a very successful commercial illustrator. His detailed and elegant drawings for I. Miller shoes were particularly popular. These illustrations consisted mainly of "blotted ink" drawings (or monoprints), a technique which he applied in much of his early art. Although many artists of this period worked in commercial art, most did so discreetly. Warhol was so successful, however, that his profile as an illustrator seemed to undermine his efforts to be taken seriously as an artist.
In the early 1960s, Warhol tried to exhibit some of his drawings using these techniques in a gallery, only to be turned down. He began to rethink the relationship between his commercial work and the rest of his art. Instead of treating these things as opposites, he merged them, and began to take commercial and popular culture more explicitly as his topic.
Pop Art was an experimental form that several artists were independently adopting; some of these pioneers, such as Roy Lichtenstein, would later become synonymous with the movement. Warhol, who would become famous as the "Pope of Pop", turned to this new style, where popular subjects could be part of the artist's palette. His early paintings show images taken from cartoons and advertisements, hand-painted with paint drips. Those drips emulated the style of successful abstract expressionists (such as Robert Rauschenberg). Eventually, Warhol pared his image vocabulary down to the icon itself - to brand names, celebrities, dollar signs - and removed all traces of the artist's "hand" in the production of his paintings.
To him, part of defining a niche was defining his subject matter. Cartoons were already being used by Lichtenstein, typography by Jasper Johns, and so on; Warhol wanted a distinguishing subject. His friends suggested he should paint the things he loved the most. In his signature way of taking things literally, for his first major exhibition he painted his famous cans of Campbell's Soup, which he claimed to have had for lunch for most of his life.
He loved celebrities, so he painted them as well. From these beginnings he developed his later style and subjects. Instead of working on a signature subject matter, as he started out to do, he worked more and more on a signature style, slowly eliminating the hand-made from the artistic process. Warhol frequently used silk-screening; his later drawings were traced from slide projections. Warhol went from being a painter to being a designer of paintings. At the height of his fame as a painter, Warhol had several assistants who produced his silk-screen multiples, following his directions to make different versions and variations.
Warhol produced both comic and serious works; his subject could be a soup can or an electric chair. Warhol used the same techniques - silkscreens, reproduced serially, and often painted with bright colors - whether he painted celebrities, everyday objects, or images of suicide, car crashes, and disasters (as part of a 1962-1963 series called "Death and Disaster"). The "Death and Disaster" paintings (such as "Red Car Crash", "Purple Jumping Man", "Orange Disaster") transform personal tragedies into public spectacles, and signal the use of images of disaster in the then evolving media.
The unifying element in Warhol's work is his deadpan Keatonesque style - artistically and personally affectless. This was mirrored by Warhol's own demeanor, as he often played "dumb" to the media, and refused to explain his work. The artist was famous for having said that all you need to know about him and his works is already there, "on the surface."
Warhol's work as a Pop Artist has always had conceptual aspects. His series of do it yourself paintings and Rorschach blots are intended as pop comments on art and what art could be. His cow wallpaper (literally, wallpaper with a cow motif) and his oxidation paintings (canvases prepared with copper paint that was then oxidized with urine) are also noteworthy in this context. Equally noteworthy is the way these works - and their means of production - mirrored the atmosphere at Andy's New York "Factory." Biographer Bob Colacello provides some details on Andy's "piss paintings":
"Victor... was Andy's ghost pisser on the Oxidations. He would come to the Factory to urinate on canvases that had already been primed with copper-based paint by Andy or Ronnie Cutrone, who was a second ghost pisser, much appreciated by Andy, who said that the vitamin B that Ronnie took made a prettier color when the acid in the urine turned the copper green. Did Andy ever use his own urine? My diary shows that when he first began the series, in December 1977, he did, and there were many others: boys who'd come to lunch and drink too much wine, and find it funny or even flattering to be asked to help Andy 'paint.' Andy always had a little extra bounce in his walk as he led them to his studio ..." (Holy Terror - Andy Warhol Close Up, New York, Harper/Collins, 1990, p. 343)
Warhol worked across a wide range of media - painting, photography, drawing, and sculpture. In addition, he was a highly prolific filmmaker. Between 1963 and 1968, he made more than sixty films. One of his most famous films, Sleep, monitors poet John Giorno sleeping for six hours. The 35-minute film Blow Job, is one continuous shot of the face of DeVeren Bookwalter supposedly receiving oral sex from filmmaker Willard Maas, although the camera never tilts down to see this. Another, 1964's Empire, consists of eight hours of footage of the Empire State Building in New York City at dusk. The 45-minute film Eat consists of a man eating a mushroom for 45 minutes.
Batman Dracula is a 1964 film that was produced and directed by Warhol, without the permission of DC Comics. It was screened only at his art exhibits. A fan of the Batman series, Warhol's movie was an "homage" to the series, and is considered the first appearance of a blatantly campy Batman. The film was until recently thought to have been lost, until scenes from the picture were shown at some length in the 2006 documentary Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis.
Warhol's 1965 film Vinyl is an adaptation of Anthony Burgess' popular dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange. Others record improvised encounters between Factory regulars such as Brigid Berlin, Viva, Edie Sedgwick, Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn, Ondine, Nico, and Jackie Curtis. Legendary underground artist Jack Smith appears in the film Camp.
His most popular and critically successful film was 1966's Chelsea Girls. The film was highly innovative in that it consisted of two 16 mm films being projected simultaneously, with two different stories being shown in tandem. From the projection booth, the sound would be raised for one film to elucidate that "story" while it was lowered for the other. The multiplication of images evoked Warhol's seminal silk-screen works of the early 1960s. The influence of the film's split-screen, multi-narrative style could be felt in such modern work as Mike Figgis' Timecode and, however indirectly, the early seasons of 24.
Other important films include Bike Boy, My Hustler, and Lonesome Cowboys, a raunchy pseudo-western. These and other titles document gay underground and camp culture, and continue to feature prominently in scholarship about sexuality and art - see, for example, Mathew Tinkom's Working Like a Homosexual (Duke University Press, 2002) or Juan Suarez's Bike Boys, Drag Queens, and Superstars (Indiana University Press, 1996). Blue Movie, a film in which Warhol superstar Viva makes love and fools around in bed with a man for 33 minutes of the film's playing-time, was Warhol's last film as director. The film was at the time scandalous for its frank approach to a sexual encounter. For many years Viva refused to allow it to be screened. It was publicly screened in New York in 2005 for the first time in over thirty years.
After his June 3, 1968 shooting, a reclusive Warhol relinquished his personal involvement in filmmaking. His acolyte and assistant director, Paul Morrissey, took over the film-making chores for the Factory collective, steering Warhol-branded cinema towards more mainstream, narrative-based, B-movie exploitation fare with Flesh, Trash, and Heat. All of these films, including the later Andy Warhol's Dracula and Andy Warhol's Frankenstein, were far more mainstream than anything Warhol as a director had attempted. These latter "Warhol" films starred Joe Dallesandro, who was more of a Morrissey star than a true Warhol superstar.
In order to facilitate the success of these Warhol-branded, Morrissey-directed movies in the marketplace, all of Warhol's earlier avant-garde films were removed from distribution and exhibition by 1972.
Another film, Andy Warhol's Bad, made significant impact as a "Warhol" film yet was directed by Jed Johnson. Bad starred the infamous Carroll Baker, Susan Blond and a young Perry King.
The first volume of a catalogue raisonne for the Factory film archive, edited by Callie Angell, was published in the spring of 2006.
Factory in New York
- Factory: 1342 Lexington Avenue (the first Factory)
- Factory: 231 East 47th street 1963-1967
- Factory: 33 Union Square 1967-1973 (Decker Building)
- Factory: 860 Broadway (near 33 Union Square) 1973-1984 (the building has now been completely remodeled and was for a time (2000-2001) the headquarters of the dot-com consultancy Scient)
- Factory: 22 East 33rd Street 1984-1987 (the building no longer exists)
- Home: 1342 Lexington Avenue
- Home: 57 East 66th street (Warhol's last home)
- Last personal studio: 158 Madison Avenue
In the mid 1960s, Warhol adopted the band The Velvet Underground, making them a crucial element of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia performance art show. Warhol, with Paul Morrissey, acted as the band's manager, introducing them to Nico (who would perform with the band at Warhol's request). In 1966 he "produced" their first album The Velvet Underground and Nico, as well as providing its album art. His actual participation in the album's production amounted to simply paying for the studio time. After the band's first album, Warhol and band leader Lou Reed started to disagree more about the direction the band should take, and the contact between them faded.
Warhol designed many album covers for various artists starting with the photographic cover of John Wallowitch's debut album, This Is John Wallowitch!!! (1964). Warhol designed the cover art for The Rolling Stones albums Sticky Fingers (1971) and Love You Live (1977). In 1975, Warhol was commissioned to do several portraits of the band's frontman Mick Jagger while in 1982, he designed the album cover for the Diana Ross album Silk Electric.
Warhol was also friendly with many recording artists, including Deborah Harry, Grace Jones, Diana Ross and John Lennon - he designed the cover to Lennon's 1986 posthumously released Menlove Ave.. Warhol also appeared as a bartender in The Cars' music video for their single "Hello Again", and Curiosity Killed The Cat's video for their "Misfit" single (both videos, and others, were produced by Warhol's video production company).
Warhol strongly influenced the New Wave/punk rock band Devo, as well as David Bowie. Bowie recorded a song called "Andy Warhol" for his 1971 album Hunky Dory. Lou Reed wrote the song "Andy's Chest", about Valerie Solanas, the woman who shot Warhol, in 1968. He recorded it with the Velvet Underground, but this version wasn't officially released until the VU album appeared in 1985. He recorded a new version for his 1972 solo album Transformer, produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson.
Cover of copy no. 18 of 25 Cats Name (sic) Sam and One Blue Pussy by Andy Warhol given in 1954 to Edgar de Evia and Robert Denning when the author was a guest in their home in the Rhinelander Mansion.
Cover of copy no. 18 of 25 Cats Name (sic) Sam and One Blue Pussy by Andy Warhol given in 1954 to Edgar de Evia and Robert Denning when the author was a guest in their home in the Rhinelander Mansion.
Books and print
Beginning in the early 1950s, Warhol produced several unbound portfolios of his work.
The first of several bound self-published books by Warhol was 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy, printed in 1954 by Seymour Berlin on Arches brand watermarked paper using his blotted line technique for the lithographs. The original edition was limited to 190 numbered, hand colored copies, using Dr. Martin's ink washes. Most of these were given by Warhol as gifts to clients and friends. Copy #4, inscribed "Jerry" on the front cover and given to Geraldine Stutz, was used for a facsimile printing in 1987 and the original was auctioned in May 2006 for US $35,000.
Other self-published books by Warhol include :
- Gold Book
- Wild Raspberries
- Holy Cats
Later Warhol "wrote" several books that were commercially printed.
- a, A Novel (1968, ISBN 0-8021-3553-6) is a literal transcription - containing spelling errors and phonetically written background noise and mumbling - of audio recordings of Ondine and several of Andy Warhol's friends hanging out at the Factory, talking, going out.
- The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again) (1975, ISBN 0-15-671720-4) - according to Pat Hackett's introduction to The Andy Warhol Diaries, Pat Hackett did the transcriptions and text for the book based on daily phone conversations, sometimes (when Warhol was traveling) using audio cassettes that Andy Warhol gave her. Said cassettes contained conversations with Brigid Berlin (also known as Brigid Polk) and former Interview magazine editor Bob Colacello.
- Popism: The Warhol Sixties (1980, ISBN 0-15-672960-1), authored by Warhol and Pat Hackett is a retrospective view of the sixties and the role of Pop Art.
- The Andy Warhol Diaries (1989, ISBN 0-446-39138-7, edited by Pat Hackett) is an edited diary that was dictated by Warhol to Hackett in daily phone conversations. Warhol started keeping a diary to keep track of his expenses after being audited, although it soon evolved to include his personal and cultural observations.
Warhol created the fashion magazine Interview that is still published today. The loopy title script on the cover is thought to be either his own handwriting or that of his mother, Julia Warhola, who would often do text work for his early commercial pieces.
As stated, although Andy Warhol is most known for his paintings and films, he has authored works in many different media.
- Drawing: Warhol started his career drawing commercial illustrations in "blotted-ink" style for warehouses and magazines. Most well known are his pictures of shoes. Some of his drawings were published in little booklets, like "Yum, Yum, Yum" (about food), "Ho, Ho, Ho" (about Christmas) and (of course) "Shoes, Shoes, Shoes." His most artistically acclaimed book of drawings is probably "The Gold Book", compiled of sensitive, personal drawings of young men. "The Gold Book" is thus dubbed because of the gold leaf that decorates the pages.
- Sculpture: Warhol's most famous sculpture is probably his "Brillo Boxes", silkscreened bronze replicas of Brillo soap boxes. Other famous works include the "Silver Clouds"; helium filled, silver mylar, pillow-shaped balloons. A "Silver Cloud" was included in the traveling exhibition "Air Art" (1968-1969) curated by Willoughby Sharp.
- Audio: At one point Warhol carried a portable recorder with him wherever he went, taping everything everybody said and did. He referred to this device as his "wife." Some of these tapes were the basis for his literary work. Another audio-work of Warhol's was his "Invisible Sculpture", a presentation in which burglar alarms would go off when entering the room. Warhol's cooperation with the musicians of The Velvet Underground was driven by an expressed desire to become a music producer.
- Time capsules: Throughout his life, Warhol saved many of his correspondences, articles about himself and those which fascinated him, and numerous other items (everything from food to gay porn). Several of these items were boxed up and, progressively, numbered. They eventually totaled in the dozens. Today the Warhol Museum houses them and is in the process of opening and sorting them. As of 2008 there remain boxes which, while cataloged, have not been re-opened since their original sealing.
- Television: Andy Warhol dreamed of a television show that he wanted to call "The Nothing Special", a special about his favorite subject: Nothing. Later in his career he did create two cable television shows, "Andy Warhol's TV" in 1982 and "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" (based on his famous "fifteen minutes of fame" quotation) for MTV in 1986. Besides his own shows he regularly made guest appearances on other programs, including "The Love Boat" wherein a Midwestern wife (Marion Ross) fears Andy Warhol will reveal to her husband (Tom Bosley, who starred alongside Ross in sitcom Happy Days) her secret past as a Warhol superstar named Marina del Rey. Warhol also produced a TV commercial for Schrafft's Restaurants in New York City, for an ice cream dessert appropriately titled the "Underground Sundae"
- Fashion: Warhol is quoted for having said: "I'd rather buy a dress and put it up on the wall, than put a painting, wouldn't you?" One of his most well-known Superstars, Edie Sedgwick, aspired to be a fashion designer, and his good friend Halston was a famous one. Warhol's work in fashion includes silkscreened dresses, a short sub-career as a catwalk-model and books on fashion as well as paintings with fashion (shoes) as a subject.
- Performance Art: Warhol and his friends staged happenings; theatrical multimedia presentations during parties, containing music, film, slide projections and Gerard Malanga in an S&M outfit cracking a whip. The Exploding Plastic Inevitable is the culmination of this area of his work.
- Photography: To produce his silkscreens, Warhol made photographs or had them made by his friends and assistants. These pictures were mostly taken with a specific model of Polaroid camera that Polaroid kept in production especially for Warhol. This photographic approach to painting and his snapshot method of taking pictures has had a great effect on artistic photography. Warhol was an accomplished photographer, and took an enormous amount of photographs of Factory visitors, friends - given the importance of this medium to both his paintings and to film, one might say that an interest in photography lies at the center of his artistic practice.
- Computer: Warhol used Amiga computers to generate digital art.
Producer and product
In many ways Warhol refined and expanded the idea of what it means to be an artist. Warhol frequently took on the position of a producer, rather than a creator - this is true not only of his work as a painter (he had assistants do much of the work of producing his paintings), it is true of his film-making and commercial enterprises as well. He liked to coin an idea and then oversee or delegate its execution. As he refined this element of his work The Factory evolved from an atelier into an office. He became (and still is) the public face of a company, and a brand.
He founded the gossip magazine Interview, a stage for celebrities he "endorsed" and a business staffed by his friends. He collaborated with others on all of his books (some of which were written with Pat Hackett.) He adopted the young painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the band The Velvet Underground, presenting them to the public as his latest interest, and collaborating with them. One might even say that he produced people (as in the Warholian "Superstar" and the Warholian portrait). He endorsed products, appeared in commercials, and made frequent celebrity guest appearances on television shows and in films (he appeared in everything from Love Boat to Saturday Night Live and the Richard Pryor movie, Dynamite Chicken).
In this respect Warhol was a fan of "Art Business" and "Business Art" - he, in fact, wrote about his interest in thinking about art as business in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again. This was a radical new stance, as artists traditionally positioned themselves against commercialism. Warhol and other pop-artists helped redefine the artist's position as professional, commercial, and popular. He did this using methods, imagery and talents that were (or at least seemed to be) available to everyone. In this respect Pop Art has contributed to a philosophical and practical incorporation of art into popular culture and society, and art offered to us as a product of that society.
Two museums are dedicated to Andy Warhol. The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is located at 117 Sandusky Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the largest American art museum dedicated to a single artist, holding more than 12,000 works by the artist himself.
The other museum is the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art, established in 1991 by Andy's brother John Warhola, the Slovak Ministry of Culture, and the Warhol Foundation in New York. It is located in the small town of Medzilaborce, Slovakia. Andy's parents were born 15 kilometers away in the village of Miková. The museum houses several originals donated mainly by the Andy Warhol Foundation in New York and also personal items donated by Warhol's relatives.
An exhibit dedicated to the works of Andy Warhol is on display at the World of Coke in Atlanta, Georgia.
Films portraying Warhol
Andy Warhol is portrayed by Crispin Glover in Oliver Stone's film The Doors (1991), by David Bowie in Basquiat, a film by Julian Schnabel and by Jared Harris in the film I Shot Andy Warhol directed by Mary Harron (1996). Actor Mark Bringleson makes a brief cameo as Warhol in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, painting a supine woman's outfit to match the pattern on the floor of the Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swingers' Club while looking at a Campbell's Soup can. Also, many films by Jonas Mekas have the moments of Andy's life caught (for example "Super 8 films"; "Scenes From The Life Of Andy Warhol" and many more). Sean Gregory Sullivan depicted Warhol in the 1998 film 54. The latest film actor to portray the artist is Guy Pearce in the 2007 film, Factory Girl.
Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film is a reverential four-hour 2006 movie by Ric Burns.
The 2001 documentary, Absolut Warhola, was produced by German director Stanislaw Mucha, featuring Warhol's parents' family and hometown in Slovakia.
Gus Van Sant was planning a version of Warhol's life with River Phoenix in the lead role just before Phoenix's death in 1993 (as discussed in an interview with the two, included in the published My Own Private Idaho script book).
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