Andy Warhol Essay

1651 words - 7 pages

Andrew Warhol created the most sensational and often controversial art of the 1960's. He appropriated images that Americans knew and loved like Campbell's soup cans and Coca Cola and transformed them into radical and enduring works of art. Andrew's art did not give us answers; instead, it raised questions. He gave us a shocking look at what constitutes who we are. In grasping the essence of Pop Art, Warhola's work is completely about the spirit of culture in modern society.Andrew Warhola was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928, Pennsylvania in 1928, to a poverty-stricken immigrant family. Having no money to buy toys, Andrew's mother encouraged him and his two brothers to draw. Little Andrew took to it immediately, impressing his family with his pictures. His father, a factory worker, had only enough money to send one child to college. He began to save his pennies so that Andy could be the first of the Warhola's to attend college. At age eight, Andrew was diagnosed with a nervous disorder called St. Vitus's Dance, which made his limbs shake uncontrollably, and turned his skin ghost-white. Later in life, it also made his hair fall out. He was ridiculed in school, and became a loner, always opting to watch, rather than partake in fun activities.Andrew's fame as an artist lasted longer than fifteen minutes. It began at Carnegie University in Pittsburgh, where he learned valuable lessons in getting attention. He was a shy person and loved to observe people. He studied them from the sidelines, painting portraits of his classmates, which quickly earned him an entourage of friends. It was also in college that he submitted a painting to an art contest; it was a grotesque image of a man picking his nose. Although the painting was immediately withdrawn from the contest, he hung it on the wall at school, and students flocked to see it. It was then that he learned that controversy pays.In 1949 he moved to Manhattan to pursue his lifelong dream of money and fame as a commercial artist. In less than a week, he landed his first account with Glamour magazine, entitled "Success is a Job in New York." It was an editorial error in that article that gave him his new name. It mistakenly appeared as Andy Warhol. He liked it, and decided to keep it. Throughout the 1950's, Andy worked for several different magazines, and made window displays for retail stores. He was one of the first artists to understand the importance of marketing and the media. It served him well, making him one of the highest paid commercial artists in New York.Andy needed new ideas to help boost his creativity. He got several ideas from a woman named Muriel Latow; a gallery owner he knew. She advised him to paint what he loved most (like money) or what everybody would recognize (soup cans and coke bottles). Andy expanded on these ideas and his paintings of the early 60's reflected his progress as a Pop artist. He finally gained the financial success and international fame he had longed...

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