Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Andy Warhol

Yes,  this post is about one of the more famous artists, Andy Warhol, who's best known for doing what we call 'pop art'. He was a painter, printer and filmmaker who was a leader in the visual art movement. The reason I chose him to do a blog post on is for some reason, he inspires me in art, he looked like he was a free thinker in art and I'm sort of the same way, so he basically inspires me!

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.

Studio 54 in New York
Max's Kansas City
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.

Mick Jagger
This guy was supposed to be the one who played the title role in A Clockwork Orange. He was supposed to play the title role of Alex, a teen obsessed with rape and Beethoven, but he lost out to Malcolm McDowell, and in 1971, him and the rest of the Stones were gearing up for their big 1972 North American tour.

People thought that Warhol was a virgin and also a homosexual, but his family says that he was not homosexual, and throughout his career, most of his art involved erotic pictures of nude males.

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
1979 Cocaine Cowboys
1991 The Doors, Crispin Glover
1996 Basquiat, David Bowie
1996, I Shot Andy Warhol, Jarred Harris
1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Mark Bringleson
2009: Watchmen, Greg Travis
Warhol had a very important job in designing 2 of the Rolling Stones albums, their 1977 Love You Live album and their 1971 Sticky Fingers album. He was commissioned to do several portraits of the Stones' lead singer Mick Jagger, and in 1982, he designed Diana Ross' album cover for her album Silk Electric, and his last thing was a picture of Aretha Franklin for her 1986 gold album Aretha
Diana Ross/Silk Electric
Aretha Franklin
The Rolling Stones

Here are some of the pictures of Mick Jagger than Andy Warhol was commissioned to do, and he had to do several, I wonder why:
This is a pic of Mick that Andy used as a model for the pictures.

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