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Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987)

Related: Pop art - American art

Key tropes: mass media - advertising - consumerism

At one time associated with: Richard Bernstein (interview magazine) - Mary Woronov (actress) - Paul Morrissey (director) - Velvet Underground (band)

Films: Blow Job (1963) - Camp (1965) - Andy Warhol - Chelsea Girls (1966)


Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 - February 22, 1987) was an American painter and major figure in the pop art movement.

Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, to Slovakian immigrants of Ruthenian ethnicity. He showed early artistic talent, and studied commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now known as Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh. Upon graduating in 1949, he relocated to New York City and began a successful career in magazine illustration and advertising. He became well-known mainly for his whimsical ink drawings of shoes done in a loose, blotted style.

In the 1960s, he started to make paintings of famous American products like Campbell's soup cans and Coca-Cola. He switched to silkscreen prints, seeking not only to make art of mass produced items, but to mass produce the art itself. He hired and supervised "art workers" engaged in making prints, shoes, films, and other items at his studio, The Factory, located on Union Square in New York City. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol [Feb 2005]

Pop Art

Pop Art emerged in the mid 1950s in England, but realized its fullest potential in New York in the '60s where it shared, with Minimalism, the attentions of the art world. In Pop Art, the epic was replaced with the everyday and the mass-produced awarded the same significance as the unique; the gulf between ``high art'' and ``low art'' was eroding away. The media and advertising were favorite subjects for Pop Art's often witty celebrations of consumer society. Perhaps the greatest Pop artist, whose innovations have affected so much subsequent art, was the American artist, Andy Warhol (1928-87). --http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/tl/20th/pop-art.html [Apr 200]

Warhol and Modernism

What for years modernists had deliberately ignored or contemptuously spurned, Warhol embraced. As appropriated mass-culture images—such as his Turquoise Marilyn (1962)—his "art" was indistinguishable from advertising—meaning it was crass and pedestrian—and thus lampooned the modern emphasis on noble sentiment and good taste. No doubt Warhol's comments about art, that it should be effortless, that it's a business having nothing to do with transcendence, truth, or sentiment, also infuriated detractors. -- Alan R. Pratt http://faculty.erau.edu/pratta/warhol/critics.htm

Taylor Mead (Warhol superstar)

Taylor Mead
Southampton Beach, Long Island (1971)
photo sourced here. (photo: Gerard Malanga)

The Warhol superstars
The Warhol superstars were a group of people gathered by Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey, and Gerard Malanga to be in Warhol's films and accompany him in his social life. The superstars included Taylor Mead. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Warhol_superstars [Jul 2005]

see also: Joe Dallesandro - Paul Morrissey

Edie Sedgwick (Warhol superstar)

  1. Edie in Ciao! Manhattan (1972) - David Weisman, John Palmer (II) [Amazon US]
    Fact and fiction collide in the cult classic Ciao! Manhattan, which was billed as "the film that wrote itself." The unexpectedly poignant tale is based on the life of "Superstar" Edie Sedgwick, who plays a drugged-out former model named Susan. In Southern California, she lives in her wealthy, pie-obsessed mother's swimming pool and recounts her glory days in Manhattan to a Houston drifter (Wesley Hayes). John Palmer and David Weisman began filming in New York in 1967 and kept shooting for the next five years, even as Sedgwick moved West, grew out her hair, got breast implants, and spent time at a variety of mental institutes. The 1970s present is in color; the 1960s flashbacks are in luminous black and white. John Phillips, Richie Havens, and others provide the period-perfect soundtrack. Confusing at times, but always entertaining, Ciao! Manhattan is a must for fans of Head, Trash, and all things weird, wiggy, and Warhol. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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