Modern Art - Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, because of his paintings, objects, underground movies and personal life, stands in the forefront of the Pop Art movement. Warhol was first a successful commercial artist. His first attention came through his concentration on the design of popular culture in his Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell's soup cans and Brillo cartons. He exaggerated material abundance by endless repetition, rows of soup cans, rows of Coca-Cola bottles, even repetition of his portraits of familiar popular heroes: Elvis Presley, Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.

For a period during the 1960s, Warhol turned to scenes of destruction or disaster, refraining from editorializing on the images, but simply presenting them either singly or in monotonous repetition, as popular scenes where familiarity breeds indifference. Later during the 60s, Warhol turned to making underground movies, still using his principle of monotonous repetition which gradually became hypnotic in its effect. This mixed-media format of art and film became part of the vocabulary of the Pop artists of the time.

During the 1970s, Warhol began to make himself and his entourage the subject of his art. His concept of the image becoming overloaded in a media-saturated culture was turned on himself as a subject of popular culture. He died in 1987 after a gallbladder operation.