Friday, October 16, 2009


Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was a principal figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. With his childhood infirmity St Vitus ’ dance resulting in bed ridden confinement Warhol found himself listening to radio and collecting pictures of movie stars. Later in life Warhol acknowledged this experience influenced the development of his personality, preferences, skill-set and proclivity to diverse social circles of Hollywood celebrities, wealthy aristocrats, intellectuals and Bohemian street folk. Warhol embarked on a successful career in magazine illustration in the 1950’s gaining fame for his whimsical loose blotted ink drawings of shoe advertisements. The “darling magazine editor” acquired the nickname “Candy Andy”. In the 60’s Warhol is best remembered for making paintings of iconic American products like Campbell Soup and Coca Cola as well as of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Elisabeth Taylor and Mohammad Ali. It was during this era that Warhol’s midtown Manhattan studio “The Factory” gained focus for its hip artsy crowd and groundbreaking parties. His fascination with American products for example is best understood by his quote regarding Coca Cola, “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”. In the final two decades of his life Warhol found himself doing portraits for rich patrons: Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Brigitte Bardot, Liza Minelli, John Lennon, Mic Jagger, Diana Ross, and recently passed pop icon Michael Jackson. One of his more famous portraits created in 1972 was of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong. In addition to his cult status Warhol’s art forms are forever remembered, treasured and continue to command premiums contra to the phrase he coined “15 minutes of fame”.

related links:

The Shadow c1981
Campbell Soup c1968
Mao c1972
Perrier c1983
Mobilgas Pegasus c1985

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