Andy Warhol Essay

1565 words - 6 pages

Andy Warhol being one of the biggest influences in my work made him the obvious choice for this assignment. I see Warhol's influence on the world we live in everyday and strongly believe he helped in creating the pop culture obsession in America.
Andy went from rags to riches and defines the American dream. His work has inspired many and continues to be recognized by people throughout the world.
Born August 6, 1928 to Andrej and Julia Warhola, Andy was the youngest of three brothers. Andy's father emigrated from Mikova, Czechoslovakia in 1913. Eight years later Julia joined Andrej in Pittsburgh where he had found work in construction. The following year, 1922, Paul Warhola was born. Then in 1925 came John. Andy's older brothers both grew up as typical American boys and followed in their father's footsteps. (Koestenbaum 20) In 1942 when Andy was all of thirteen years old, his father died. Before Andrej's death he made the decision to put his saved money towards Andy's education. From early childhood Andy demonstrated artistic skill. Andy would sketch and color in books that his mother bought for him. He copied many of the images he saw in comic books. These sketches foreshadow Warhol's career and the work he would go on to do. Andy decided to attend Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA. There, he majored in pictorial design. However, he flunked out after only one year due to his lacking English skills. Warhol's life and work would later be summed up by the fact that he had such trouble with words. Andy was a visual person
from day one. He went most of his life without writing anything down, including his signature, which was often signed by apprentices. Andy managed to get back into school after winning art awards. (Rodley)
Andy graduated from Carnegie in 1949 and decided to move to New York. This is when Andy dropped the "a" from Warhola and began going by Warhol. Andy moved to New York with fellow painter Philip Pearlstein. After a year of living with Pearlstein and some other roommates Warhol moved his mother from Pittsburgh to live with him in an apartment. The dependency on her is seen up until her death. His first work in New York was very design oriented. Andy designed women's shoes and storefronts. He won three Art Directors Club Awards and used his "business art" to make his money. Andy still did commercial work up until 1968 when he used commissions as his main source of income. (Rodley)
Warhol first emerged onto the fine art scene in 1962 with a solo show at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. This show promoted his first run of soup cans. Thirty-two different flavored soup cans were displayed. The paintings were listed at $100 each, not even one of the paintings sold and the whole lot was purchased by the gallery owner. (Koestenbaum 62) The next show put on by Warhol was in New York. Here he had portraits of Marilyn and Elvis, as well as the disaster series. From...

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