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Andy Warhol

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, PA, 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.

The Factory

The Factory was Warhol's studio from 1963 to 1969. It really was a factory manufacturing hats before he took possession of it. The Factory was the hip hangout for artsy type, amphetamine users, and the Warhol superstars. This is where Warhol would make his silkscreens. It was covered with tin foil, silver "clouds" on the ceiling. It was also the place where the Warhol superstars would try and be noticed and look through the rag magazines to see if they were in it, if not, they would go out and cause mayhem and get noticed.

The Factory became a meeting place of artists and would-be artists such as Mick Jagger, Lou Reed and Truman Capote. Warhol became the manager of the influential New York rock band The Velvet Underground in 1965. On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas, a Factory regular, entered Warhol's studio and fired three shots, nearly killing him. Although the first two rounds missed, the third passed through Warhol's left lung, spleen, stomach, liver, esophagus and right lung. Solanas then turned the gun on a companion of Warhol, injuring his thigh. Although Warhol survived these injuries, he never fully recovered. Solanas later explained that "he had too much control over my life."

In the 1970s and 1980s he mainly made prints of famous people such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

Besides his influence as a painter, Warhol was known as a highly proficient filmmaker. Between 1963 and 1968, he made more than sixty films. His most famous one, Sleep (1963), shows a man (John Giorno , who had a relationship with Warhol) sleeping for eight hours. In the 35 minute film Blow Job (1963), he shows the face of a man receiving fellatio. Warhol's character has also been represented in several motion pictures. He has been portrayed by Crispin Glover, David Bowie, and Jared Harris , in The Doors, Basquiat and I Shot Andy Warhol, respectively.

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 his mother's, who would often do text work for his early commercial pieces.

Warhol used to socialize at Serendipity, a club in New York City.

Warhol's favorite pop band was Blondie.

The Andy Warhol Museum is located in the North Shore district of Pittsburgh, PA. It is the largest American art museum dedicated to a single artist.

Warhol was generally regarded as quiet and a meticulous observer. More than one person jokingly referred to him as "death warmed over". He had a keen eye for art in general and is credited with crystallizing the deceptively simple notion that if you simply point at something and call it "art", it is. He was openly gay, rare for celebrities of his stature at the time, and paid tribute to many male friends and workers in his private art and collections. An organized collector, he tossed almost every piece of paper, fan mail and magazine related to his fame along with personal notes, (gay) porn and found artifacts into hundreds of numbered boxes and set them aside. Many of these exist today and are available for research at his Pittsburgh museum.

A kind person at heart, he would regularly volunteer at the homeless shelters in New York, particularly during the busier times of the year (holidays, etc), when he found the time.

Warhol died in New York, NY, United States, following routine gall bladder surgery. He is interred at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery south of Pittsburgh. Fellow artist Yoko Ono was among the speakers at his funeral.


  • L'Amour (1972)
  • Blue Movie (1969)
  • Lonesome Cowboys (1969)
  • San Diego Surf (1968)
  • The Loves of Ondine (1968)
  • The Andy Warhol Story (1967)
  • Tiger Morse (1967)
  • Four Stars (1967)
  • Imitation of Christ (1967)
  • Nude Restaurant, The (1967)
  • Bike Boy (1967)
  • I, a Man (1967)
  • Ari and Mario (1966)
  • Hedy (1966)
  • Kiss the Boot (1966)
  • Milk (1966)
  • Salvador Dalí (1966)
  • Shower (1966)
  • Sunset (1966)
  • Superboy (1966)
  • Closet, The (1966)
  • Chelsea Girls (1966)
  • Beard, The (1966)
  • More Milk, Evette (1966)
  • Outer and Inner Space (1966)
  • Velvet Underground and Nico, The (1966)
  • Beauty #2 (1965)
  • Bitch (1965)
  • Camp (1965)
  • Harlot (1965)
  • Horse (1965)
  • Kitchen (1965)
  • The Life of Juanita Castro (1965)
  • My Hustler (1965)
  • Poor Little Rich Girl (1965)
  • Restaurant (1965)
  • Space (1965)
  • Taylor Mead's Ass (1965)
  • Vinyl (1965)
  • Screen Test (1965)
  • Screen Test #2 (1965)
  • 13 Most Beautiful Women (1964)
  • Batman Dracula (1964)
  • Clockwork (1964)
  • Couch (1964)
  • Drunk (1964)
  • Empire (1964)
  • The End of Dawn (1964)
  • Lips (1964)
  • Mario Banana I (1964)
  • Mario Banana II (1964)
  • Messy Lives (1964)
  • Naomi and Rufus Kiss (1964)
  • Tarzan and Jane Regained... Sort of (1964)
  • Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys, The (1964)
  • Blow Job (1963)
  • Eat (1963)
  • Haircut (1963)
  • Kiss (1963)
  • Naomi's Birthday Party (1963)
  • Sleep (1963)

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Andy Warhol

Last updated: 12-15-2004 11:27:41