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Andy Warhol: The American Painter, Printmaker, Illustrator, And Film Maker

1904 words - 8 pages

Andy Warhol, the American painter, printmaker, illustrator, and film maker was born in Pittsburgh on August 6, 1928, shortly afterwards settling in New York. The only son of immigrant, Czech parents, Andy finished high school and went on to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, graduating in 1949 with hopes of becoming an art teacher in the public schools. While in Pittsburgh, he worked for a department store arranging window displays, and often was asked to simply look for ideas in fashion magazines . While recognizing the job as a waste of time, he recalls later that the fashion magazines "gave me a sense of style and other career opportunities." Upon graduating, Warhol moved to New York and began his artistic career as a commercial artist and illustrator for magazines and newspapers. Although extremely shy and clad in old jeans and sneakers, Warhol attempted to intermingle with anyone at all who might be able to assist him in the art world. His portfolio secure in a brown paper bag, Warhol introduced himself and showed his work to anyone that could help him out. Eventually, he got a job with Glamour magazine, doing illustrations for an article called "Success is a Job in New York," along with doing a spread showing women's shoes. Proving his reliability and skills, he acquired other such jobs, illustrating adds for Harpers Bazaar, Millers Shoes, contributing to other large corporate image-building campaigns, doing designs for the Upjohn Company, the National Broadcasting Company and others. In these early drawings, Warhol used a device that would prove beneficial throughout his commercial art period of the 1950's-a tentative, blotted ink line produced by a simple monotype process. First he drew in black ink on glazed, nonabsorbent paper. Then he would press the design against an absorbent sheet. As droplets of ink spread, gaps in the line filled in-or didn't, in which case they created a look of spontaneity. Warhol mastered thighs method, and art directors of the 1950's found in adaptable to nearly any purpose. This method functioned provided him with a hand-scale equivalent of a printing press, showing his interest in mechanical reproduction that dominates much of his future work. Such techniques used for almost all of his works derived from his beginning in the commercial arts. His pattern of aesthetic and artistic innovation, to "expect the unexpected," began with his advertising art in the 1950's. Much of his future subject matter can be placed in the realm of such common, everyday objects, that were focused on in these early times. Nearly all of Warhol's works relate in one way or another to the commercially mass-produced machine product. Hence, Warhol's future artwork and techniques were greatly influenced by his rather humble beginnings. Although Warhol did receive recognition for much of his commercial illustrations during those times, he was constantly pursuing another career as well-that of a serious artist....

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