Back to the Artist Page
Andy Warhol Biography
More than any other artist of his era, Andy Warhol served as a cultural anthropologist, recording the fascinating and ever-changing American culture that existed in the second half of the 20th century.Born Andrew Warhola to immigrant parents near Pittsburgh in 1928, Andy showed artistic talent at a young age. As a sickly child, he was often bedridden and would draw and color for hours on end.
Following high school graduation, Warhol attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology and later moved to New York City to pursue his artistic career. Although Warhol often tried to hide his simple origins it is perhaps the early years of his life, devoid of glamour and full of illness, that spurred his obsession with beauty and magnificence.
Warhol began making in screenprints in the late 1960s, a medium that would eventually become his primarily vehicle for artistic expression. More than any other medium available at the time, screenprinting was the perfect technique for capturing the essence of Warhol's work. The ability of a screenprint to be identically reproduced became an essential part of the way Warhol's art reflected life at that time. The post-war abundance that middle class America experienced in the 50s and 60s created a level of consumption and also homogenization that had never been seen before. Even Warhol's studio, which he called "The Factory," paid homage to the mechanization of other products of the day. By using a series of assistants, Warhol likened the production of his art to the production of standard household goods.
Against all odds, Andy became as famous as the icons that he depicted in his artwork. His careful and unintentional documentation allows us the opportunity to reflect on one of the most pivotal times in American history. Through his images we see what we were, what we wanted and who we are in the present. Today, more than ever, we understand the importance of what he had to say.