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11 Things You Didn’t Know About Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.

– Andy Warhol

Andrew Warhola.
Courtesy: Wikipedia

Andy Warhol, the renowned pop artist and leader of the visual art movement, rose to fame for fusing art with the spirit of the time, pop culture, and advertising. The relationship between advertising, artistic expression, and the 1960s celebrity culture is explored in the artist\’s works. His paintings, which spanned a range of media including painting, silk-screening, photography, cinema, and sculpture, show that he was much ahead of his time. Although he produced hundreds of other works, from commercial advertisements to films, he is best known for his mass-produced paintings of Campbell’s soup cans. His most well-known creations, like the soup cans, mirrored his opinions on the dullness he perceived in American commercial culture.

100 Dollar Bills Andy Warhol.
Courtesy: Sotheby’s

Andy Warhol was born on 6th August 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Warhol enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology after completing high school in 1945 at the age of 16, where he received formal training in pictorial design. In his college years, Warhol invented the blotted-line method, which included taping two sheets of blank paper together at one edge and then inking one page. He squeezed the two sheets of paper together before the ink had a chance to dry. The end result was an illustration with skewed lines that he could colour in with watercolour. Andy Warhol’s earliest work was for a magazine titled “Glamour”. It was his first-ever assignment in which he was given a task to write an article. His article was titled “Success is a Job in New York.”

Grevy’s Zebra by Andy Warhol.
Courtesy: Fine Art and Antiques Auctions

He earned recognition as a significant and contentious artist in the late 1950s after displaying his work in a number of galleries. He opened his own studio in New York, which quickly became a well-known gathering place for bohemian street performers, drag queens, eminent thinkers, writers, wealthy clients, and Hollywood stars. A group of individuals known as the “Warhol Superstars” were also promoted by Andy. He is also credited with coining the phrase “15 minutes of fame,” which is frequently used. The classic pop art paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s soup cans that Warhol created are what made him most well-known.

11 lesser-known facts about Andy Warhol

Daily News and New York Post, 4 June 1968.
Courtesy: Maura McGurk
  1. He was once shot by a writer and actor who made an appearance in a Warhol movie, Valerie Solanis, reportedly for not using her script.
  2. Andy Warhol made oxidation paintings which are commonly known as Andy’s ‘piss paintings’. In these paintings, the canvases were prepared with copper paint that was then oxidized with urine. Sometimes boys who came to lunch, and drank too much wine, were asked by Andy to help him with his oxidation paintings.

    Andy Warhol’s piss painting.
    Courtesy: Widewalls

  3. Warhol had an interesting sense of style, he wore silver wigs and eventually dyed his hair silver. After having been told he had lazy eyes, he wore opaque glasses that had a tiny pinhole for him to see through.
  4. Andy was the producer of the first record album by The Velvet Underground. He also painted the cover of their first album, entitled ‘The Velvet Underground and Nico’. Warhol also made phallic album art for the Rolling Stones.

    Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground.
    Courtesy: Wikipedia

  5. His very first movie was called ‘Sleep’ and it was 6 hours 6-hour-long never-ending masterpiece of his friend sleeping. Nine people attended the premiere. Seven of them stayed and watched the movie. Two of them left within the first hour. He created at least 60 movies including Kiss, Blowjob, Eat, Shoulder, Couch, Face, Kitchen, Horse, Suicide, Drink, Closet, Sunset, and Bitch.
  6. Andy Warhol used to record all of his conversations. He even used to refer to his recorder as his “Wife”.

    Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe Series.
    Courtesy: Sotheby’s

  7. Andy Warhol suffered from Sydenham’s chorea during his youth. The illness is also known as “St. Vitus’s Dance” because it causes its victims to suffer from uncontrollable shaking and jerking movements.
  8. When Warhol did indeed dress up in drag, he went by the name “Drella,” which was a combination of “Dracula” and “Cinderella.”

    Drella, 1981.
    Courtesy: Dangerous Minds

  9. Andy Warhol’s “time capsules” were cardboard boxes that he kept in his office by his desk and would fill up with daily objects of his life. Through the years, he collected over 600 boxes worth of these capsules.
  10. He famously claimed that he “drank” the popular soup for lunch every day for two decades. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that his paintings of soup cans would be the catalyst for his rise to stardom in the art world.

    Courtesy: Sotheby’s

  11. His ‘Sticky Fingers’ cover, for the album of Rolling Stones, was nominated in the Grammy’s for the Best Album Cover award in 1971. The image was a risqué one and unfortunately lost to the ‘Pollution’ brand.

    Cats Series by Andy Warhol.
    Courtesy: Guy Hepner

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