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Who is Andy Warhol?

This is the
question you will probably never hear. Andy Warhol is the king of American Art,
it is hard to imagine contemporary world without his ideas and aesthetics. He
had made a huge impact not only on the world of art, but on music, design, photography,
fashion, cinema and on the whole visual perception of the modern environment.

To gain
better understanding of his mysterious and eccentric personality, we’ll go through
some facts about his life and oeuvre in this article.

We need to
talk about Andy

To have a
broad picture of Warhol’s heritage, one article is not enough. Even ten articles
would not be enough. His work is very versatile and complex; it’s full of intellectual
twists and double meanings. So in order to get an image of Andy Warhol not
only as a famous provocateur and art marketer, but as a highly intelligent and far-fetched
author, who had created completely different philosophy of dealing with art, we need
two following things. A movie and a book. 

The Complete Picture is a three-hour documentary that takes us through Warhol’s life from his troubled early years to the
most famous moments of his carrier.

Sigmund

Freud
is right, as usual, and most of our views, character features and qualities are
deeply influenced by the childhood events. Andy Warhol’s young years and
pre-Factory experience is crucial in the understanding of his intentions and
interests.

The second
and very important thing is an autobiographical book “The Philosophy of Andy
Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)”. Who could have told it better than the
author himself. This is a kind of a manual for everybody who wants to know more about art industry, about advertising, pop-culture, sales, and, of course, about
the one and only Andy Warhol.

Andy and
his shoes

Warhol
started his carrier as a commercial designer, and some of his most recognizable adverts
were about shoes. He was a shoe fetishist and carried this affection throughout his life. He had created The Shoe Series in 1981, dedicated solely to
this piece of our wardrobe. Warhol added the diamond dust to his works, which is a
side product of an industrial diamond production. So we have a touch of glamour,
which is actually coming from the manufacturing by-effect. Such ironic and
symbolic works are quite typical for Warhol. We have to dig deeper, to see not
just a pretty shoe.

Andy and
his portraits

We all are familiar with the famous bright pop art portraits by Warhol. But he was not satisfied with just depicting a glimpse of a person. He wanted to capture the
character, the behavior. He wanted to perform an experiment. A certain person was told to be in front of the camera, and that was it. A couple minutes of filming and no
instructions whatsoever. What if that person was Salvador Dali? Would he be
still in his character after a silent gaze of a camera eye? That is the
question behind these video portraits, called Screen Tests: “What would be the person
like without any frameworks?” 

 Andy and
his cookie jars

In 1987, the collection of Andy Warhol’s cookie
jars was sold for an outrageous $250,000. This mind-breaking sum of money was
paid for a regular manufactured pottery. Or wasn’t it? The thing is, that Warhol was a brilliant PR
manager of his own brand – his art. And after his death, merely everything he had touched was estimated and ready for sale. The buyers would purchase not just
some objects, but Warhol’s personal artistic “vision” reflected in these
objects.

There
are much more fascinating facts about Andy Warhol, but we’ll leave them for a dessert
(a.k.a. next article). The thing about Warhol’s oeuvre, it is so multidimensional and still up-to-date, that there is just no such thing as “getting enough of Andy”.

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