Andy Warhol was a visual artist, filmmaker, producer, printmaker, icon, author, part-time model and clothing designer
Born in 1928, in Pittsburgh
, Andy Warhol was a sickly child and often hospitalized. He developed a phobia of hospitals
and was pathologically shy. Interested in drawing, he had a lot of time to practice. He went to art school and moved to New York. He started in commercial art illustration, but radically changed his style. Andy became famous for his hyper-saturated representations of everyday items, adhering to the concept that the everyday is beautiful. Famous pieces include Campbell's Soup Cans
, Marilyn Diptych
Andy founded The Factory
: a menagerie of his friends, drag queens, musicians, sexual radicals, models, drug dealers, free-thinkers and other oddities. Many of the "Warhol Superstars" including Edie Sedgwick, Betsey Johnson and Gerard Malanga went on to become stars in their individual fields. Other Factory regulars included Salvador Dalí, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs
, Mick Jagger
, Truman Capote and The Velvet Underground
Things changed when Valerie Solanas
shot Warhol. Warhol survived the shooting but the event had a permanent effect on his life and work. He said of the shooting, "Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life
. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it's the way things happen in life that's unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real
, whereas when things really do happen to you, it's like watching television – you don't feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it's all television."
After that, The Factory was finished
. In the 70's, Warhol did portraits commissioned by Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli, and John Lennon among others. In the 80's Warhol collaborated with younger artists. He died in '87, after delaying a check up on a gallbladder issue due to his phobia of hospitals.
Works about Andy Warhol include:
- Scenes From The Life Of Andy Warhol 1990 Film by Jonas Mekas
- I Shot Andy Warhol 1996 Film
- Songs For Drella 1990 album by Lou Reed and John Cale
- Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol 1996 Documentary by Chuck Workman
Works where Andy Warhol appears as a character include: Comics Film Literature Live-Action Television Opera Video Games
- The Sims. In The Sims 1: Superstar expansion, Warhol is depicted as the main photographer.
Tropes related to Andy Warhol's life and work include:
- Asexuality: Often speculated, but the more general consensus is that he was homosexual. He may, however, have been a virgin.
- Collector of the Strange: Cookie jars, wigs, and other various items.
- Dead Baby Comedy: Literally, in Andy Warhol's Bad
- Erotic Eating: He did an entire film of a drag queen eating a banana. It can be seen here.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Taylor Mead's Ass.
- Freud Was Right: The cover he made for The Velvet Underground & Nico.
- Hidden Depths: He was a devout Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic for his entire life, attending Mass (though not taking communion) almost daily and even (according to his priest) making a few converts.
- His spiritual life also included creating a large number of religious-themed paintings, found only after his death, which he never publicly displayed or marketed as he considered them works of personal devotion. Warhol also took great pride in funding his nephew's studies for the priesthood.
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: Andy Warhol's Dracula and Andy Warhol's Bad.
- In Name Only:"Andy Warhol's Dracula" and "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein". He had almost nothing to do with them.
- Le Film Artistique: Nearly all of his films fall under this category.
- Leave the Camera Running: So, so many of his films. Notoriously, eight hours of the Empire State Building were filmed because he just liked to "watch time go by".
- Mad Artist: Read a biography on Andy Warhol. ANY biography.
- The Muse: Most consider his to have been Edie Sedgwick.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the Preston & Child novels, Agent Pendergast's looks are often compared with Warhol's. Such comparisons weren't made of Mason Eckhart in Mutant X — but he's pretty transparently an eeeevil Andy Warhol.
- Postmodernism: Was one of the primary influences.
- Raised Catholic: See Hidden Depths above.
- Take That: The film Taylor Mead's Ass was made after a critic said of another one of Andy's films that "... people don't want to see an hour and a half of Taylor Mead's ass". Taylor Mead's Ass was exactly that.
- The Velvet Underground: He helped popularize them, made art for them, and produced their debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico.
- Virgin Sacrifice: Seen in Andy Warhol's Dracula.
- The Wonka: Just read an interview with him. The founder of the Factory was an oddball leader.