Andy Warhol Art

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Andy Warhol (American 1928-1987) is the darling of the American Pop Art movement. Warhol built a career on the idea that if something is famous it must therefore be beautiful. He managed to be both obsessed and apparently indifferent to the subjects in his work, and in the end, became as well known as the objects and people he immortalized in his art.

Andy Warhol studied graphic design at Carnegie Technical Institute and graduated in 1949 with a degree in pictorial design. After moving to NY, he found himself designing department store windows on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. In the late '50s he began painting, and the first example of notable Andy Warhol art is that which catapulted him to fame: his series of prints depicting 32 individual cans of Campbell's soup.

Warhol felt that in an age of media overload that there was a place for "affect-less" art. That after a lifetime of having images foisted upon us via television and print, an emotional distance naturally took place between viewer and subject. Therefore, Warhol believed that there was room for unemotional art that celebrated the very images we were bombarded with daily.

Andy Warhol: Me Thinks He Doth Protest Too Much

He started out by elevating brand goods, and ended up elevating brand name celebrities. Like the 32 different, yet identical, Campbell's soup cans, he created multiple, identical images of famous people like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, and then, ultimately, himself. Like a lovesick teenager, who publicly mocks but privately idolizes the prom queen, Andy Warhol's art suggests both a desperate obsession with, and a disparaging aloofness to his famous subjects. Experts agree that his greatest work was done in the six years between '62 and '68. Though he still made silk screens and even films in his famous Factory, the last 20 years of his life were primarily about maintaining his own ubiquitous, single-name, celebrity.


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