Andy Warhol

ICONS | Andy Warhol

Few artists of modern times have had such a profound impact on popular culture as did Andy Warhol. Born in Pittsburgh in the 1920s, Warhol rose to fame in the 1960s where his satirical pop art works quickly irked critics who felt that he was widely embracing commercialism and that his work was little more than colourful advertising. He wasn't without his admirers though and became the party guest of choice amongst the A-listers of the era. His controversial reputation, flamboyant lifestyle and indie approach to film-making made him a cool radical and this, in the 60s, ensured that he was somebody to be seen with.

Pictured above with Edie Sedgwick, his long-term muse who featured heavily in his filmworks, you can see just how cool this guy was. Genuinely hipster before it was cool.

Employing non-classical techniques, such as animation (in the style of pop art peer Roy Liechtenstein) and screen printing, Warhol created a range of colourful, simple tongue-in-cheek art pieces that have served as the inspiration to countless artists and designers today.

His best works are, arguably, the pieces displayed below - being 'Campbell's Soup', 'Shot Marilyns' and 'Eight Elvises'.

Warhol also had a huge impact on the music scene at the time, having worked with The Velvet Underground, amongst others, on some of his performance art shows. He was a true artist in that he embraced all artistic mediums to express himself, whether it be theatre, music, film, canvas, sculpture...

He also has become famous for his quotes ("everyone will be famous for 15 minutes"), some of which are shown above. The picture above also displays just how iconic the 'Shot Marilyns' style became having come to represent Warhol and having been copied countless times.

There are a load of books out there showcasing his works and documenting his life. I'm not going to list them all but I do really like 'Andy Warhol: "Giant Size"' from Phaidon, the perfect coffee table book with lots of pictures.

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