Andy Warhol’s World Of Pop Art
You may have seen a painting of a Campbell soup can or multiple color portraits of celebrities like actress Marilyn Monroe. These world famous pieces were created by American artist and filmmaker called Andy Warhol.
At a recent auction, a painting by Warhol of actress Elizabeth Taylor sold for US $63 million. Another simple black-and-white image of a Coca-Cola bottle sold for US $35 million. But the all-time record for a Warhol painting is $100 million for a piece titled “Eight Elvises.”
What’s amazing is not that the pieces sold for so much, but the fact that they are not what you would call traditional art. They are “pop art,” art based on simple images of things and people from advertising, movies, music and day-to-day life. Even though pop art began in the mid 1950s in Great Britain, it was Warhol who introduced it to America, and ultimately to the world.
A lonely, creative life
Warhol was born in the 1920s, and grew up mostly separated from other children due to health problems. He spent a lot of his time alone drawing and then went on to study art in college. He began his career as a commercial artist, creating pictures for magazine articles and newspaper ads.
That inspired him to experiment with pop art and he hosted America’s first pop art exhibition in the 1960s, where he unveiled his now famous painting of Campbell soup cans. The show met with a lot of debate with some people claiming that what he was doing was not art. Ironically, that combined with Warhol’s incredible talent and mysterious personality, ended up making him and his artwork very famous.
Art of and for the people
Warhol followed his first works with a series we are all familiar with -- paintings of Coca-Cola bottles, Brillo soap pad boxes, and portraits of famous people. Soon after, Warhol stopped creating his own artwork. Instead, he had assistants and other artists create them at his studio called “The Factory.” Warhol wanted to show the world that art doesn’t have to be sophisticated or original; it can be created by anyone using ordinary things. He died in 1987 of complications from gall bladder surgery.
Today, Warhol’s work is unmistakable in its uniqueness. No matter how you may feel about his work, one thing cannot be argued. He introduced the world to a whole new art form, inspiring future generations of artists, and eventually becoming the world’s most-renowned and successful pop art artist.
And, thanks to him, we will never look at a bottle of Coca-Cola, or a can of soup the same way.
If Warhol was alive today, what or whom do you think he would paint? Star Wars? Lady Gaga? An Ipad? J Share your thoughts!