Andy Warhol: Famous Pop Artist

Andy Warhol is not only a Pop artist, but also he is an American artist who was known as the master of Pop Art. In the 1950s, commercial products entered into the highly valued fine art space. In the 1960s, everyday life inspired Andy Warhol, and source material became mass-produced products and commercial artifacts. The content of Pop art led him to reflect popular subjects such as celebrities, social/political issues, daily disasters, and sexuality issues through the lens of the media.

Andy was introduced with art through his family in his difficult health condition. As a child, Sydenham chorea (St. Vitus dance) kept him bedridden. He also had pigment issues that caused discoloration of his skin. Because of his skin problem his nicknames are “Spot” and “Andy the Red-nosed Warhola.” Those unfortunates such as being incapable of getting social and his pigment issues created a curiosity to celebrities and obsession of beauty on Andy Warhol. In 1962, he began a large series of celebrity portraits, featuring Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor. He successfully subjected celebrities that were well known in period of that time on his art works.

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Another distinctive characteristics he subjected were politics and relentless public relations campaigns. For instance, Warhol’s series on Chinese dictator Mao Zedong was a response to Communist Party propaganda. Warhol’s official politic position was neutrality, but titled piece of “Vote McGovern, 1972,” is evidence of a contribution to George McGovern’s Presidential race against Nixon. The piece appears to be a visual invention to true colors of politics. Warhol wrote words under Nixon’s face read: “Vote McGovern.” Warhol’s artwork represents multilayered process that incorporates photographs, screen prints, painting and graphics. He also relied on “source images” such as newspaper clippings. For example, Flash-November 22, 1963 created by Warhol using Teletype reports. In one of the portfolio’s 11 works metaphor for the endless takes played out in the persistent airing of the Abraham Zapruder film footage of the tragic event. All in all, Andy Warhol’s artwork can be identified politically relevant to his period of time.

Warhol was a homosexual. Even though when homosexuality was criminalized in United States, he openly expressed his sexual identity in life and art. Such as Boy Books drawings in 1950s depicted the sensuous male nudes form and his self-portraits in drag in 1980s.   “I wonder whether it’s harder for 1) a man to be a man, 2) a man to be a woman, 3) a woman to be a woman, or 4) a woman to be a man.” (ANDY WARHOL, THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANDY WARHOL (FROM A TO B & BACK AGAIN), 1975).

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