Today marks the 88th birth anniversary of the man who revolutionised and shaped the style and aesthetic of the 1960s and the 1970s not just in the USA but also around the world. His influence on media and art across several forms of expression, painting, fashion, advertising, photography, music and cinema set new benchmarks for the time period and laid the groundwork for the modern American art and culture. Here are some of the highlights from his creative and colourful life:
1. Andy Warhol, born Andrew Warhola, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents had emigrated to the USA from Ruthenia, a region now in the Slovak Republic.
2. Between 1945 and 1949 Warhol studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
3. In the early 1960s, he began to experiment with reproductions based on advertisements, newspaper headlines and other mass-produced images from American popular culture.
4. He created the ‘Marilyn Diptych’, a work that contains fifty images of the actress, which are all based on a single publicity photograph. The work is a hallmark of Abstract Expressionism, as exemplified by Jackson Pollock's drip paintings.
5. The now oft-used phrase, “15 minutes of fame” was coined by Warhol when he stated to an interviewer that, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”.
6. In 1963, he founded his studio, "The Factory" and gathered about him a wide range of artists, writers, musicians, and underground celebrities. It was one of the artists and a radical feminist here, Valerie Solanas, who shot him in 1968.
7. He made more than 60 films and 500 short-films, some of his most famous works being ‘Vinyl’ and ‘Chelsea Girls’, the latter of which was set completely inside the Chelsea Hotel in New York.
8. He adopted and managed a band called ‘The Velvet Underground’. The late David Bowie, one of the most respected figures of the Punk Rock movement cited Warhol as one of his inspirations.
9. He was one of the few celebrities who embraced his homosexuality before the ‘Gay Liberation Movement’.
10. Two of his paintings were sold in excess of $100 million in 2008 and 2013.
He will forever be remembered as a revolutionary in the world of art and culture.
Title image: Nypost