Biography Base Home
  Biography Base Home | Link To Us
Search Biographies:
Andy Warhol Biography
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 - February 22, 1987) was an American painter and major figure in the pop art movement.

Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, PA, United States, to Slovakian immigrants of Ruthenian ethnicity. He showed early artistic talent, and studied commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now known as Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh. Upon graduating in 1949, he relocated to New York City and began a successful career in magazine illustration and advertising. He became well-known mainly for his whimsical ink drawings of shoes, done in a loose, blotted style.

In the 1960s, he started to make paintings of famous American products like Campbell's soup cans and Coca-Cola. He switched to silkscreen prints, seeking not only to make art of mass produced items, but to mass produce the art itself. He hired and supervised "art workers" engaged in making prints, shoes, films, and other items at his studio, The Factory, located on Union Square in New York City. The Factory became a meeting place of artists and would-be artists such as Mick Jagger, Lou Reed and Truman Capote. Warhol became the manager of the influential New York rock band The Velvet Underground in 1965.

On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas, one of the Factory regulars, shot Warhol and nearly killed him. She entered his studio and fired three shots. Although the first two rounds missed, her third shot sent a bullet through Warhol's left lung, spleen, stomach, liver, esophagus and right lung. Solanas then turned the gun on a companion of Warhol, injuring his thigh. Although Warhol survived these injuries, he never fully recovered. Solanas later explained that "he had too much control over my life."

In 1970s and 1980s he mainly made prints of famous people such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

Besides being a painter, Warhol also made movies. Between 1963 and 1968, he made more than sixty films. His most famous one is Sleep (1963), which shows a man (John Giorno, at a time, in a relationship with Warhol) sleeping for eight hours. In the 35 minute film Blow Job (1963), he shows the face of a man receiving fellatio. The character of Warhol has also been played by Crispin Glover,David Bowie and Jared Harris in the films The Doors, Basquiat and I Shot Andy Warhol, respectively.

A fashion magazine, which still exists today, called Interview was created by him. The loopy handwriting identifying it as such is thought to be either his or his mothers', who would often do text work for his early commercial pieces.

Warhol used to socialize at Serendipity, a club in New York City. The Andy Warhol Museum is located in the North Shore district of Pittsburgh, PA. It is the largest American art museum dedicated to a single artist.

Andy was generally regarded as very quiet and a meticulous observer. More than one person, half-kidding, referred to him as "death warmed over". He had a keen eye for art in general and is credited with crystallizing the deceptively simple notion that, if you simply point at something and call it "art", it is. He was as openly gay as he could be for the time, idolizing many male friends and workers in his private art and collections. An organized collector, he tossed practically every piece of paper, fan mail and magazine related to his fame, along with personal notes, (gay) porn and misc. artifacts into boxes, numbered them, and set them aside. He amassed many hundreds. Much of these exist today and are available for research at his Pittsburgh museum.

A kind person at heart, he would regularly volunteer at the homeless shelters in New York, particularly during the busier times of year (holidays, etc), when he found the time.

Warhol died in New York, NY, United States, following routine gall bladder surgery. He is interred at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery south of Pittsburgh. Fellow artist Yoko Ono was among the speakers at his funeral.

L'Amour (1972)
Blue Movie (1969)
Lonesome Cowboys (1969)
San Diego Surf (1968)
The Loves of Ondine (1968)
The Andy Warhol Story (1967)
Tiger Morse (1967)
Four Stars (1967)
Imitation of Christ (1967)
Nude Restaurant, The (1967)
Bike Boy (1967)
I, a Man (1967)
Ari and Mario (1966)
Hedy (1966)
Kiss the Boot (1966)
Milk (1966)
Salvador Dalí (1966)
Shower (1966)
Sunset (1966)
Superboy (1966)
Closet, The (1966)
Chelsea Girls (1966)
Beard, The (1966)
More Milk, Evette (1966)
Outer and Inner Space (1966)
Velvet Underground and Nico, The (1966)
Beauty #2 (1965)
Bitch (1965)
Camp (1965)
Harlot (1965)
Horse (1965)
Kitchen (1965)
The Life of Juanita Castro (1965)
My Hustler (1965)
Poor Little Rich Girl (1965)
Restaurant (1965)
Space (1965)
Taylor Mead's Ass (1965)
Vinyl (1965)
Screen Test (1965)
Screen Test #2 (1965)
13 Most Beautiful Women (1964)
Batman Dracula (1964)
Clockwork (1964)
Couch (1964)
Drunk (1964)
Empire (1964)
The End of Dawn (1964)
Lips (1964)
Mario Banana I (1964)
Mario Banana II (1964)
Messy Lives (1964)
Naomi and Rufus Kiss (1964)
Tarzan and Jane Regained... Sort of (1964)
Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys, The (1964)
Blow Job (1963)
Eat (1963)
Haircut (1963)
Kiss (1963)
Naomi's Birthday Party (1963)

"In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes." (slightly misquoted as "...will be famous for 15 minutes." or "Everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame"). This quote became common enough during his lifetime that later, for fun, he amended it to "In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous."
Andy Warhol Resources
Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sitemap

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Andy Warhol.