Andy Warhol, born Andrew Warhola Jr. (Pittsburgh, August 6, 1928 - New York, February 22, 1987), was an American painter, graphic artist, illustrator, sculptor, screenwriter, film producer, television producer, director, cinematographer and actor , a predominant figure of the Pop art movement and one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 6, 1928, the youngest of the three children of Ondrej Warhola (who legally English-speaking his name in Andrew Warhola shortly after his arrival in the United States; 1889-1942) and Júlia Justína Zavacká ( 1892-1972), both modest Lemkish immigrants originating from Miková (a village located in today's north-eastern Slovakia). Warhol quickly showed his artistic talent, and studied advertising art at Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. After graduating in 1949, he moved to New York. The "big apple" immediately offered him many opportunities to establish himself in the world of advertising, working for magazines such as Vogue and Glamor.
On June 3, 1968, a radical feminist and a frequent artist of the "Factory", Valerie Solanas, shot Warhol and his then partner, Mario Amaya. Both survived, despite the very serious injuries reported by Warhol had made fear the worst. Warhol's public appearances after this story decreased drastically: the artist refused to testify against his assailant and the story took second place due to the assassination of Bob Kennedy, which took place two days later.
He died at the age of 58 in New York on February 22, 1987, following a gallbladder surgery, after having created Last Supper, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, a work exhibited at the inauguration exhibition of the Galleria del Credito Valtellinese in Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan. The funeral took place in Pittsburgh, his hometown, and a suffrage mass was celebrated in New York. In the spring of 1988, 10,000 objects owned by him were auctioned at Sotheby's to finance the "Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts". In 1989 the Museum of Modern Art in New York dedicated a major retrospective to him.
After his death, the fame and value of his works grew to the point of making Andy Warhol the "second most bought and sold artist in the world after Pablo Picasso". Brother Paul Warhol, a chicken farmer who had never had "a particular talent for art, used Andy's technique of making prints from photographs". In this way he was able to sell posters of cans of beans and "a series of works of art with his signature, made by having hens walk on the canvas after dipping their paws in acrylic colors".
His artistic activity of him counts many works, which he produced in series with the help of the screen printing system. His most famous works have become icons: Marilyn Monroe, Mao Zedong, Che Guevara, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Marlon Brando, Liza Minnelli and many others to remember: the reigning queens Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom , Margaret II of Denmark, Beatrix of the Netherlands, the empress consort of Iran Farah Pahlavi, the princess consort of Monaco Grace Kelly, the queen mother of Swaziland Ntfombi and the princess of Wales Diana Spencer.
The repetition of him was his method of his success: on large canvases he reproduced the same image many times, altering the colors (mainly bright and strong). By taking advertising images of big commercial brands (famous for his Coca-Cola bottles) or impactful images such as traffic accidents or electric chairs, he was able to empty the images he represented of any meaning by repeating the image itself on a vast ladder.