When was Andy Warhol born?
So many events came together for today's Daily Doodle. I first thought about Andy Warhol while working on my Chicken Noodle Soup post, plus, Andy Landforce's birthday (so I had Andy on the brain I suppose), and lastly, my friend's anniversary is today and they are SUPER-DUPER Andy Warhol fans, so I mean... the Doodle really couldn't be anything else.
Andrew Warhola was born August 6, 1928 to Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants (from what is present-day Eastern Slovakia), his parents Andrej and Julia Warhola had three sons, Paul, John, and Andy, the youngest. Andy's mother was a skilled artist and gave Andy his first art lessons at the age of eight, when he was bedridden after contracting contracted Chorea — also known as St. Vitus's Dance — a rare and sometimes fatal disease of the nervous system. Drawing soon became Warhol's favorite pastime. He was also an avid fan of the movies, and even though the family were in the depression era his mother bought him a camera, so he took up photography as well, developing film in a makeshift darkroom he set up in their basement.
Andrej, Andy's father, recognized his son's artistic talent and saved money to pay for his college education. Unfortunately, the money for school came in the form of his father's will. Andy's father passed away in 1942 from a jaundiced liver when Andy was 14 years old. That same year, Warhol began school at Schenley High School, and upon graduating, in 1945, enrolled at the Carnegie Institute for Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) to study pictorial design.
After graduating from art school, Warhol moved to New York City to pursue a career as a commercial artist, and he dropped the final “a” in Warhola (he had also previously signed some of his work in college 'Warhol'). He moved with fellow classmate Philip Pearlstein and created a circle of close-knit friends including college friend, Leila Davies Singeles, and dancer Francesca Boas. His work first appeared in a 1949 issue of Glamour magazine, in which he illustrated a story called “What is Success?”. Warhol was an award-winning illustrator throughout the 1950s, some of his clients included Tiffany & Co., I. Miller Shoes, Fleming-Joffe, Bonwit Teller, Columbia Records, and Vogue.
in the 1950's Warhol was known for his blotted-line ink drawings, using a process he developed in college and refined in the '50s. This working method combined drawing with basic printmaking and allowed Warhol to repeat an image and to create multiple illustrations along a similar theme. He could also make color or compositional changes quickly in response to client requests.
In 1952, Julia Warhola moved to New York City to live with her son. As mentioned, Julia was an artist in her own right. Cats and angels were her favorite things to illustrate, and in 1957 Warhol published a book of her drawings, 'Holy Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother'. Warhol enlisted her to add her feminine and delicate penmanship to hundreds of his drawings, including advertisements, album covers, and book illustrations. He also self-published a large series of books himself in the '50's that his friends helped him hand color.
As a commercial illustrator, Andy Warhol earned a sizeable revenue to finance his artistic ventures. Warhol grew up during the rise of post-war consumer culture in the U.S. and England and realized the benefit of assembly lines in manufacturing. He employed studio assistants and processes to aid his artistic production. Warhol successfully balanced commercial and entrepreneurial endeavors with avant-garde, underground work. He continually pushed himself to experiment in new media—publishing, film, music production, television, fashion, theater—throughout his career and frequently collaborated with artists and brands.
In 1960, Warhol turned his attention to the pop art movement, which began in Britain in the mid-1950s. Everyday life inspired pop artists, and their source material became mass-produced products and commercial artifacts of daily life. In 1961, Warhol created his first pop paintings, which were based on comics and ads. Warhol’s 1961 Coca-Cola  is a pivotal piece in his career, evidence that his transition from hand-painted works to silkscreens did not happen suddenly. Warhol turned to perhaps his most notable style, photographic silkscreen printing, in 1962. This commercial process allowed him to easily reproduce the images that he appropriated from popular culture. Among Warhol’s first photographic silkscreen works are his paintings of Marilyn Monroe made from a production still from the 1953 film Niagara. In 1962, he began a large series of celebrity portraits, featuring Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor. Warhol made his series of Campbell’s Soup Cans in 1962 and exhibited them the same year in his first solo pop art exhibition at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.
Warhol first began making box sculptures in 1963. Invoking a factory assembly line and enlisting help from his studio assistants at the Silver Factory (his large loft at 231 East 47th Street in midtown Manhattan, decorated with silver paint and aluminum foil by a collaborator, Billy Name), he created hundreds of replicas of large supermarket product boxes—including Brillo Boxes, Heinz Boxes, Del Monte Boxes, and more. The finished sculptures were nearly indistinguishable from their cardboard supermarket counterparts, single packing cartons. The Brillo Boxes were first exhibited in 1964 at the Stable Gallery in New York.
Warhol expanded into performance art in 1966 with the debut of his traveling cinematic multimedia performance, Exploding Plastic Inevitable, featuring The Velvet Underground (Lou Reed's song, 'Take a Walk on the Wild Side' was about people in the Factory) and Nico. EPI was an immersive experience with live music, lighting effects, projected film footage, and live dancers.
In the 1970s, Warhol was a regular at the New York disco, Studio 54, and he received hundreds of portrait commissions from wealthy socialites, musicians, and film stars. He remained in the spotlight in the 1980s with his television work and high-fashion modeling. Warhol achieved stardom, and helped others do the same, realizing his expression, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
Warhol became increasingly involved in publishing in the late 1960s, becoming fully immersed in the 1970s. In 1969, he co-founded 'Interview', a magazine devoted to film, fashion, and popular culture that gave him access to the stars. He published his first mass-produced book, 'Andy Warhol’s Index (Book)', in 1967, and 'THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)' was published in 1975. Published posthumously in 1989, 'The Andy Warhol Diaries' chronicles his daily life from November 24, 1976, through February 17, 1987, five days before he died; his assistant and friend, Pat Hackett, transcribed their daily phone conversations detailing the previous day’s events.
Throughout his career, Warhol frequently collaborated with artists, and in 1984 he worked with young artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, and Keith Haring. When working with Basquiat and Clemente, each artist worked independently on the canvas before passing it along, the artist’s individual marks remaining distinct and recognizable signs and logos becoming part of the compositions. Warhol also returned to hand painting with a brush in the 1980s, something he had set aside in the 1960s in favor of the silkscreen.
Warhol took an interest in television and produced two cable shows, Andy Warhol’s T.V. (1980–83) and Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes (1985–87) for MTV. He also made television appearances on The Love Boat and Saturday Night Live, appeared in both print and television commercials, produced music videos, and modeled in fashion shows. Continuing his artistic experimentation, Warhol made a series of digital artworks in 1985 using an Amiga 1000.
Nine months before his death, Warhol created a series of iconic monumental self-portraits featuring his gaunt face, fixed gaze, and a spiky wig, some of the canvases measuring up to nine feet square. On February 22, 1987, Warhol died at New York Hospital in Manhattan due to complications following a surgery to remove his gall bladder. Warhol is buried next to his mother and father at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, a suburb south of Pittsburgh. Even in death, Warhol is put on display with a 24/7 video feed of his grave, an art piece called 'Figment'. You can view it here.
There are several more works and branches in the 'Warhol Works', but to cover his career would take days upon days. He was basically the machine he wanted to be, churning out thousands of works. My favorite pieces are the iconic faces, silkscreened and painted in various bold colors. What's your favorite work of his?