Andy Warhol Summary

This essay has a total of 1161 words and 5 pages.

Andy Warhol


When considering the life and works of Andy Warhol, one thing is agreed upon: for good or
bad, he changed the visual construction of the world we live in. By the time of his death
in 1987 he was ranked on the same level with Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock as one of
the three most important artists of this century. He was a working man, a social climber,
a person who liked to build things, an acquirer of goods, and a known homosexual. These
attributes all contributed to the interesting and complicated nature of his art.


Andrew Warhola, was born August 6, 1928 in Pittsburg. He was the youngest son of
Czechoslovakian immigrants. Andrew was born at the time of the Wall Street Crash (1929)
and the Great Depression. Like millions of other families, Andrew’s father could not find
work and his early childhood was very difficult and deprived. After several years his
family’s financial situation improved and he was older he attend a commercial design
course at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology. Although he was very shy and had
a strong fear of failure, he did very well there.


In 1949, Andrew Warhola moved to New York. After his first commission to illustrate shoes,
Andrew noticed that the final ‘a’ of his name was omitted in the credits and since decided
to call himself Andy Warhol (a name that he considered youthful). He quickly became a
successful and highly paid commercial artist in the 1950’s but desperately wished for fame
as a fine artist. He was unsuccessful in his efforts and sold few exhibits. Andrew became
depressed and believed that the ‘fine art world’ had rejected his art as old fashioned and
irrelevant.


Andy needed new ideas to help boost his creativity. He got several ideas from a woman
named Muriel Latow; a gallery owner he knew. She advised him to paint what he loved most
(like money) or what everybody would recognize (soup cans and coke bottles). Andy expanded
on these ideas and his paintings of the early 60’s reflected his progress as a Pop artist.
He finally gained the financial success and international fame he had longed for.


Although Andy was identified with Pop art and credited with its invention, this is a
misunderstanding of his creative ability. Pop is much more complicated than it seems. In
creating Pop art, one must create memorable (although sometimes unrealistic) images and
awareness of the unpredictable forces in nature and society in whole. It is not simply the
portrayal of popular icons but more of an expression of all that is familiar and accepted
American society. Pop art also contains a serious sub-message that is not apparent at
first sight. Trewin Copplestone, author of The life and works of Andy Warhol, pointed out
that Pop artists were aware of this and exploited it:

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