Andy Warhol

American (1928 - 1987)

Andy Warhol began his career as a commercial illustrator, developing ads for the I. Miller Department store in New York. His first exhibition was in 1962, at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, which included all 32 of his Campbell's Soup Can renditions.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1928 as Andrew Warhola, Andy Warhol came to represent more than just the American condition. He became pivotal in the evolution of artistic production in relationship to mainstream mass-produced culture and commercialism. The founder and most influential figure of the Pop Art movement, Warhol received his training in graphic design from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949. He then moved to New York City to begin his career as a commercial artist where he gained phenomenal success. By 1955, Warhol was the most successful and most-influential commercial artist in New York.

His career took flight when he produced the first of his window displays using enlarged comic strip images. Characters such as Superman and Popeye were among the popular images he incorporated into designer fashion. Needless to say, his department store windows drew a lot of attention, and Warhol garnered a reputation for the extreme. One of Warhol's most important developments was his use of enlarged photographic images which were silk screened directly onto canvas and/or paper. This technique enabled him to produce quickly and cheaply a series of mass-media images that he marketed to the public. Iconographic objects such as Soup Cans, U.S. Dollar Bills, Coca-Cola Bottles, as well as the various faces of celebrities and politicians became highly sought after by art aficionados.

In the late 1960s, Warhol experimented with the medium of film exploring such rhetorical topics as time, boredom, and repetition. He founded inter/VIEW magazine in 1969 (later changed to Interview in 1971), published 'The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again' and continued to produce silkscreens until his death in 1987.