Andy Warhol is probably a name you’ve heard here, there, and everywhere, and we’ve found that while so many know who Andy Warhol is, not many know who he is or why they know the name, if that makes sense. So, all this mystery begs the question, what is Andy Warhol famous for?
Andy Warhol is perhaps one of the most famous 20th Century artists in America, and perhaps indeed the world. Many place him up there with the likes of Jackson Pollock and Picasso, and there’s no denying his work has changed the art world forever.
If you’ve clicked this post, then the chances are you’ve heard the name or seen something to do with Warhol, but you’re not quite sure on the basics of who he is, what he does, and what he’s famous for, so here’s everything you need to know.
Who is Andy Warhol?
Andy was born in Pennsylvania in 1928 after his Slovakian parents moved to New York at the turn of 1920. When he was old enough to work, his first job was creating adverts for fashion magazines, which he drew by hand, but he eventually became one of the most renowned and most famous artists of all time.
Regarding his personal life, Warhol lived among famous celebrities and people of the era, especially actors and actresses. Warhol was also gay, although, at the time of his life, homosexuality was illegal across the United States.
Now, the chances are you’ve seen a picture of the Campbell’s soup tin, created in an artistic fashion, that looks a little something like this.
This is a prime example of why Warhol became so popular. He took everyday, popular culture things, whether that was a tin of soup, a can of Coca Cola drink, Disney’s Mickey Mouse, and so on, and incorporated it into his work.
Taking something that people already knew existed and were very familiar with and adding a creative twist to it almost certainly helped boost the popularity of his work. This is what Andy’s life and art were founded on, and many believe this is where the pop art movement started, an art form that is still very popular to this day.
The Fame of Andy Warhol
The thing that comes up time and time again when talking about Andy Warhol is the depth of which he did everything, and that ranges from his artwork to the way he lived his life. While famous for his art, he also produced movies, wrote books, took photographs, spent time as an actor and a model, produced a TV soap opera, and much more.
This meant that everybody could get a piece of what Warhol had to offer, and it really didn’t matter who you are, there was probably something that Warhol did that you could get involved in. Love movies? You can watch his films. Love fashion? You can wear his clothes. Love pictures? See his art and photos. The list goes on.
What’s more, there’s no denying that Warhol’s personality was one to be remembered. He was a very sociable person, which is a little bit of a far cry from the socially-reclusive attitude that many artists and creatives tend to adopt. However, in a truly creative fashion, there’s no doubt that he was also a little eccentric.
All of this, then coupled with the fact that he spent a lot of time with some of his generation’s most influential people. This included stars like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, which meant that he was regularly in the spotlight, and everybody who had an interest in the modern world during the 50s and 60s knew who he was.
Nearly the End
There’s a ton of content out there talking about Warhol, what he was like, his work, and a breakdown of his pieces, but perhaps surprisingly little information of some other aspects of his life, like the time he was shot.
It was June 3rd, 1968, when a feminist named Valerie Solanas took a gun and shot Andy three times in the chest. This may seem extremely dramatic (we know it does), but Valerie believed that Warhol was an abusive and controlling person, and basically, he needed to go.
She was arrested the next day, and Andy nearly died from the incident. That’s right. Nearly. He went to the hospital where he had open surgery on his chest to remove the bullets, and the doctors had to massage Warhol’s heart to get it beating again. However, he was physically damaged for the rest of his life.
Nevertheless, the story was hardly covered at the time since Robert Kennedy was assassinated two days later, which overshadowed everything.
Warhol died later, in 1987, while he was recovering from gallbladder surgery. Everything had seemed fine, and he was recovering well until it was stated he died in his sleep from an irregular heartbeat.
However, his legacy has lived on and inspired so many people and works of art that we revere to this day, and we don’t think it’s a legacy that will be going away any time soon.