“It’s the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.” – Andy Warhol
Where could one start with a fella named, Andrew Warhola, or better known as, Andy Warhol. What an iconic figure. When I look at the 15th to early 20th century timeline, grouping the eras with its appropriate famous artists, its seems natural, like it was meant to be. In the 15th century you have widely known painters, Leonardo da Vinci and Michael Angelo. The 16th and 17th century bring you respectable, Peter Paul Rubens and Johannes Vermeer. Who could forget the 19th century when it brought you Claude Monet, Vincent van Gough, and Pablo Picasso. Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo made their mark in the early 20th century. Then, BOOM! Life gave you Andy Warhol. There he was, part of the 20th century club. Popping out like a women anxiously hiding in a life-size birthday cake, waiting to sing happy birthday to Hugh Hefner. As if he was making an unsaid statement to his former fellow artists like fireworks on the Forth of July. There never has and never will be anyone quite like him.
If you only know him as that one weird dude, an interesting looking one at that, and his pop art, than you are in for a treat. He is more than the man behind the prints like the ones featuring the rich and famous, a display of well-known brands like Campbell soup and Coca-cola. Who could forget the lonesome banana which set as an album cover for the American rock band, Velvet Underground.
Pennsylvania born, Andy Warhol, was part of the 20th century, Post-World War II era. A time of significant change. Famous European artists packed their bags and headed to America to avoid conflicts brought on by World War. It was an innovative time for America. It became the new ‘art central.’ Television just emerged, making pop culture the new obsession. Warhol had many successes before he became the King of Pop Art, even though his art was criticized by some for not being original with his artwork as if there was little effort put into it. This was far from the truth.
His introduction to art had similarities with Frida’s story. As a young child, he became bedridden from a serious illness and used that time to pick up drawing. Picking up those skills, he became a prominent illustrator and eventually worked his was up to having a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a career as a commercial artist.
Warhol had so many achievements in his life time. As a commercial artist, he invented self-branding illustrations. He brought his unique style as a director to motion picture. He had his own studio in New York City, named The Factory, known as the ‘IT’ place to hangout amongst the stars. It was an art studio, area designated for screen testing, producing photographs, as well as a workspace for his own magazine company, Interview. The factory became a common spot for brainstorming and formulating inspirational ideas, and let us not forget, the over the top parties. I found his strength and determination inspirational for my own life journey. One could not disagree, considering his difficult childhood, insecurities taken from his illness, devastation and impact of his father’s death, scrutiny over his sexuality, hateful words thrown at him of his art style and so forth.
Though he died the year I was born, 1987, there is a special bond that will never fade. I relate to him in many ways to where he helps me feel normal. Warhol and I suffer from dyslexia. We are daydreams and rule breakers. We both carry warm hearts, but formed a defensive wall for protection. We share the Christian faith and consider our families to be close-knit. Him and I have the same obsessions over Shirley Temple, Elvis Presley, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe. My career path aligns with his in advertising and graphic design.
His visions, is unlike anyones else, which resulted in revolutionizing a new art movement and leading pop culture in the United States. Life as we know it would be very different if Andrew Warhola never became Andy Warhol.
My blog does not give his life justice. There is so much more I could contribute in honoring one of my favorite persons of all time. Therefore, if you get a chance, please click the hyperlinks below to learn more about the artist.
- A lengthy but well worth the time documentary, by Ric Burns. Andy Warhol: Documentary Film Part 1, and Part 2.
- There is a good Website on interesting little known facts of Andy Warhol.
- Bio. does an outstanding job in writing a biography on Mr. Warhol.