Today is Andrew Warhola’s birthday, August 6, 1928. After being incorrectly credited as “Warhol” in an early published drawing he decided to permanently remove the “a” from his name. [above: a self-portrait of Warhol eating cornflakes]
Andy Warhol, who began painting in the late 50’s, took the advice of an art teacher who told him to paint the things he liked. Well, he liked ordinary things like comic strips, canned soup, and soft drinks, and so he painted them.
Warhol operated out of his silver-painted studio in Manhattan called, The Factory. The Factory was Warhol’s original New York City studio from 1962 to 1968, famed for its groundbreaking parties. The Factory was the hip hangout for artsy types, amphetamine users, underground artists, social curiosities, and hangers-on, along with the Warhol superstars.
Andy Warhol and members of the Superstars: Gerard Malanga, poet; Viva, actress; Paul Morrissey, director; Taylor Mead, actor; Brigid Polk, actress; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Andy Warhol, artist, New York, October 9, 1969 Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation
He sponsored the influential rock group the Velvet Underground (left). Warhol, with Paul Morrissey, acted as the band’s manager. In 1966 he “produced” their first album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, as well as providing its album art.
He designed the cover art for the Rolling Stones albums Sticky Fingers (1971) and Love You Live (1977), along with the John Cale album The Academy in Peril (1972).
Love You Live
Academy in Peril
One of Warhol’s last works was a portrait of Aretha Franklin for the cover of her 1986 gold album Aretha.
Warhol also strongly influenced the new wave/punk rock band Devo, as well as David Bowie.
The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is $105 million for a 1963 canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)”.
Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), depicts a body twisted in the mangled interior of a silver car. It was painted by Andy Warhol at the age of 35. It is the last painting of the artist that was left in private hands. The painting is 8 by 13 foot in dimensions, and it was displayed only once in public during the last 26 years.
He became a fixture on the fashion and jet-set social scenes and was famous for pithy cultural observations like, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”
On February 22, 1987, he died in the hospital of a heart attack shortly after a gall bladder operation.
The American pop artist used photography as a medium of art towards the end of his career and had a tendency to snap people in spontaneous moments.
Warhol’s shot of John Lennon was taken in New York in 1979, a year before he was shot dead, and shows the boyfriend of fashion designer Halston poking his tongue out behind the Beatle.
Mick Jagger with author William Burroughs
Lou Reed and Ronnie Cutrone.
John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez and Madonna
Andy Warhol (1966) filming of the Velvet Underground in a rehearsal. Click “Watch on YouTube”.