America’s most famous 20th century artist.

He studied commercial art in Pittsburgh before moving to New York and a career in magazine illustration and advertising. During the 1950s, he began to be known for work outside of illustration, especially ink drawings of shoe advertisements, and slowly built a reputation as a controversial artist. He held exhibitions at smaller New York and West Coast galleries, introducing works that have since become icons – dollar bills, Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles as well images of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. He was a founding figure of the Pop Art movement.

In the 1970s he became less radical and more entrepreneurial. He spent much of his time canvassing new, rich patrons for portrait commissions —including the Shah of Iran, Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon and Diana Ross. He worked in collaboration with assistants and other artists, notably at his studio ‘The Factory’; actually three successive locations in Manhattan. The Factory became a hangout for musicians, photographers, filmmakers, artists, intellectuals and wannabes.

He worked intensively using silkscreens to mass-produce images. Musician John Cale said “It wasn’t called the Factory for nothing. It was where the assembly line for the silkscreens happened. While one person was making a silkscreen, somebody else would be filming a screen test. Every day something new.”

Andy Warhol, artist, portrait, himself, white background
Andy Warhol

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