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ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)

Andrew Warhola, known as Andy Warhol, was a key initiator of the American pop art movement, and one of the first artists to understand the importance of mass media. Despite having grown up in poverty and isolation, the artist later rubbed shoulders with an array of vastly diverse communities, ranging from Hollywood celebrities and well-heeled aristocrats to reputed academics, cultural figures and trendy beatniks. Warhol’s involvement and interest in radically differing social circles is reflected in the succession of works that he produced in the twenty years preceding his death in 1987.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1928, his parents were working-class immigrants from Slovakia. Andy showed an early talent in drawing and painting. After high school he studied commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. Warhol graduated in 1949 and went to New York where he worked as an illustrator for magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and for commercial advertising. He soon became one of New York's most sought of and successful commercial illustrators.

His detailed and elegant drawings for I. Miller shoes were particularly popular. These illustrations consisted mainly of "blotted ink" drawings (or monoprints), a technique which he applied in much of his early art. Although many artists of this period worked in commercial art, most did so discreetly. Warhol was so successful, however, that his profile as an illustrator seemed to undermine his efforts to be taken seriously as an artist.... continue


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