1928 Pittsburgh – 1987 New York
Andy Warhol, an American graphic artists, fine artist, film maker and publisher as well as co-founder of the American Pop Art movement, was one of the most glittering personalities of the 20th century. His oeuvre spans from simple graphic designs for adverts to his paintings, objects, films and books. After his studies in painting and design in Pittsburgh between 1945 and 1949 he moved with Philip Pearlstein to New York where he initially worked as a commercial artist. In the early 1960s he used silkscreen printing and motifs such as the Mona Lisa and Marilyn Monroe to create his most well known Pop Art works. His work unifies the techniques and appeal of advertisement with those of visual art. From 1963 in his ‘Factory’, a magnet for New York’s bohemians, he created numerous films, videos and photographs in addition to prints and paintings, that portray the ‘colourful’ lifestyle of that period. Sex, drugs, fame and homosexuality are the themes of this period. From the mid 1960s Warhol was himself a star of the scene. After an assassination attempt in 1968 he changed his open-house policy in the Factory and focused increasingly upon his own work and its publicity. He was a regular guest at Studio 54 and staged himself as his own brand image, as no other artist had ever done. Nevertheless, as a person he remained an enigma, “I am a machine” is a statement that has been attributed to him. His innovation and versatility made him one of the most influential figures for the next generation of artists. His work is in the most prestigious museums and collections worldwide. In 1994 the Andy Warhol Museum opened in Pittsburgh.