He was a person in many diverse social circles, like Bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy patrons, and he has also been noted for doing his own paintings of famous celebs, whether they be musicians, actors/actresses of the time, etc
In 1963 he did a canvas painting titled Eight Elvises that totaled $100 million, the highest ever paid for a painting
Date of birth: August 6, 1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
birth name: Andrew Warhola
Date of death: February 22, 1987, aged 58, New York City
During the 1960s, he began doing commercial art featuring American icons, such as the Campbell's Soup can, Coca-Cola bottles and he also started doing pictures of celebs that were popular at that time, such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Troy Donahue, Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali. In New York, the place where he would make all these awesome artworks was called The Factory, and in his little social circle that often hung around here, it included underground celebrities, a wide range of artists, musicians, writers. His work was done in the Silkscreen fashion, which most people associate with Far Eastern-style art and his art then started becoming popular and also controversial
His diverse crowd included Freddie Herko, who is an American musician, actor, artist, dancer, choreographer and teacher, Ondine, an American actor, Ronald Taver who is an American writer, director and actor best known for his work with Warhol, Mary Woronov, who is an American writer and actress, Billy Name, who is an American photographer, filmmaker, lighting designer, Brigid Berlin, who is an American artist.
On June 3, 1968, a woman named Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and art critic and curator Mario Amaya at Warhol's studio. She was part of a feminist group called S.C.U.M Manifesto, who carried out feminist attacks on males
For Warhol, the 1970s are really when he got good with his art, he began doing paintings and pictures of celebs and famous people from the 1970s. He started trying to get pics done of rich patrons, like Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, his wife Empress Farah Pahlavi, his sister Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger, actress Liza Minelli, former Beatle John Lennon, singer Diana Ross, French-born actress Bridget Bardot. In 1973, he did a picture of China's Communist leader Mao Zedong. He often frequented some of the nightclubs in NYC, like Max's Kansas City and Studio 54, which was a popular disco-theque nightclub in the 1970s. On opening night of this place, there were all sorts of celebs there, from Michael Jackson and Rick James, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Liza Minelli, Jerry Hall and Brooke Shields, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Salvador Dali, Cher, and many more. Warhol was known as "the white mole of Union Square". He was quiet, shy and a very studious observer.
In the 1980s, he had a large successful boom because of the painting he did of Michael Jackson for the release of his album Thriller. He was so successful in the 1980s because he was starting to develop relationships with prolific younger artists, as it says on Wikipedia, so as to avoid confusion.
On February 22, 1987, he died in his sleep from cardiac arrhythmia, and his funeral was at Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home in Pittsburgh. His coffin was pretty fancy, it was solid bronze with gold plated rails and white upholstery, and when he was put into the coffin, he was dressed in a black suit, paisley tie, platinum wig, and sunglasses. When he was posed, he was given a prayer book and a red rose.
In 1979, Warhol was commissioned by BMW to do something for the BMW M1 for the Group 4 Race version. He chose to paint directly on to the car and it only took him 23 minutes, what a time! He loved celebrities, and that explains why alot of his paintings feature someone famous.
He also did films, including his most famous one, Sleep, which shows poet John Giomo sleeping for hours. Another one he made was 35 minutes, called Blow Job, very gross, it shows actor DeVeren Bookwalter supposedly getting oral sex from Willard Mass, a poet. His 1965 film Vinyl is a version of Anthony Burgess' futuristic novel A Clockwork Orange. And apparently it was his idea to cast Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger as the title role of Alex in the movie, but he lost out on the role, as the movie was made in 1971 and The Stones were gearing up for their big 1972 North American tour.
There are even movies made about this guy, here are some of them:
- 1979: Cocaine Cowboys. Warhol appears as himself
- Crispin Glover plays Warhol
- 1996: Basquiat. David Bowie plays him
- 1996: I Shot Andy Warhol. Jarred Harris plays Warhol
- 1997: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Actor Mark Bringleson makes a brief cameo as Warhol
- 2009: Watchmen. Actor Greg Travis plays Warhol in a brief scene