Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pop! A Look at Art Through Andy Warhol's Eyes

Do you think anything interesting ever happens in Pittsburgh? Well, back on August 6, 1928 Andrew Warhola was born (he would later drop the 'a' from his last name and go by 'Andy'). Son of Rusyn immigrants, the third child of Andrej and Julia might not have taken the world by storm in his earlier years, but things were destined to change. The name "Andy Warhol" would be known the world over and his new brand of Pop Art would take the art scene by storm. And it didn't take long.

In The Bottom of My Garden - 1956
From a young age, Warhol was interested in art. When he became sick and frequently hospitalized in his youth, that love of art and pop culture sustained him. While his illness created a paranoia about hospitals and doctors, it also gave him the time to explore drawing, DC comics and celebrity magazines. These interests remained with Warhol for the rest of his life.

Marilyn Monroe
After graduating from high school, Warhol enrolled at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. By 1949, he had a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. This paved the way for a career as a commercial artist and the work seemed to flow to him effortlessly. He relocated to New York and soon found himself working for the likes of Columbia Records, Glamour Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, NBC, Vogue and more. He began to turn to painting and drawing, and later incorporated photographs into his work.This drew the interest of a variety of museums as well. Warhol had his first exhibit at the Hugo Gallery. The Museum of Modern Art couldn't help but notice this up and coming artist as well, and featured his work in a group exhibit in 1956.

Campbell's Soup - 1968
By the 1960s, Warhol began to embrace what he is now most famous for; some of his iconic pop images. He took everyday images, such as a can of Campbell's soup and immortalized the image in the world of Contemporary Art. Celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Mohammed Ali and Elizabeth Taylor all graced the images that he created. During this time period, he also began working with silk screening. Warhol was not content to stop there though.

As Warhol's fame continued to grow, so too did the mediums he worked in. In 1963, he recorded his first of many films at "The Factory", his aluminum foil and silver-painted studio. He created such avant-garde films as "Sleep", "Empire" and "The Chelsea Girls", which remain cult classics for many. The year 1968 shattered Warhol's rocket rise to fame when he was shot and nearly killed by a minor figure in "The Factory" scene. While he recovered and continued to create many more films, paintings, album covers and more, his view on life was dramatically altered forever more. Now he saw life as through a television.

It is hard not to still see Andy Warhol's influence on Contemporary Art. He had short films featured on "Saturday Night Live", a guest appearance on "The Love Boat", he co-founded the magazine "Interview", as well as designed album covers for bands such as "The Velvet Underground" and "The Rolling Stones". So how can Budding Artists not recognize this modern-day superstar that was ahead of his time when it came to the world of art and social networking? If you want your child to learn more about Pop Art and Andy Warhol's influence on it, sign them up for this week's children's art workshop with Budding Artists at the London Farmer's Market. Workshops run for 90 minutes at 10:30am and 1:00pm. With a Master Artist like Andy Warhol to draw inspiration from, who knows what your kids will bring home this week!

And finally, I leave you with a sampling of, but one of Warhol's films; Edie Sedgwick's Screen Test.

No comments:

Post a Comment