Andy Warhol

One of the most influential artists of the pop art movement during the 1960s, Andy Warhol is a name which is known to many, although perhaps they don’t exactly know why.  Arguably most famous for his quote that, “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” Andy Warhol made a number of statements, both literal and through his art, which provide some very clear definitions on the role of pop culture in our society, both from the 1960s and today.  His work is generally the most identifiable when it represents an iconic American product or image. He made pieces during his career of both famous American celebrities and classic American products, both types of which have grown into beloved representations of Warhol’s art.

Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928, to working-class immigrants.  He was sickly as a child, forcing him to spend a great deal of time in bed.  He would pass the time by drawing, collecting photos of famous movie stars, and listening to the radio.  In interviews, Warhol has claimed that this time frame was one of the single most influential periods of his development.  Warhol studied commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology before moving to New York City in 1949 to work as a magazine illustrator.  Once in New York, his drawings began to attract attention and he began to produce more and more work that he enjoyed.

The 1960s presented Andy Warhol with the height of his artistic expression.  He produced a number of pieces which grew notorious in the public eye before continuing on to form “The Factory,” a studio where a number of artists of all forms, musicians, writers, and celebrities could mingle and express themselves.  During the 60s, Warhol began to produce works of art on silkscreen, making his pieces mass-produced and able to be marketed to the general public.  He helped bring about the advent of a love of pop culture, showing America the beauty in the mundane.

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