Pop Culture Spring 2010 Prof. Howell Andy Warhol “Pop Art is an art movement in the U. S. in the 1950’s and reached its peak of activity in the 1960’s, chose as its subject matter the anonymous, everyday, standardized, and banal iconography in American life, as comic strips, billboards, commercial products, and celebrity images and dealt with them typically in such form as outsize commercially smooth paintings, mechanically reproduced silk-screens, large-scale facsimiles, and soft sculptures”(Dictionary). While looking up the definition of Pop Art, Dictionary. om tells you “see also Andy Warhol. ” Andy Warhol defined Pop Art. Warhol was a twentieth- century American artist who took simple consumer objects and took them to the level of art. Warhol is best known for his “precise, enlarged image of Campbell’s tomato soup”(Dictionary). In the book called Andy Warhol: prince of pop written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, they stated, “The work created by Andy Warhol elevated everyday images to art, ensuring Warhol a fame that has far outlasted the 15 minutes he predicted for everyone else.
He not only produced iconic art that blended high and popular culture; he also made controversial films, starring his entourage of the beautiful and outrageous; he launched Interview, a slick magazine that continues to sell today; and he reveled in leading the vanguard of New York’s hipster lifestyle. Warhol’s rise, from poverty to wealth, from obscurity to status as a Pop icon, is an absorbing tale-one in which the American dream of fame and fortune is played out in all of its success and its excess.
No artist of the late 20th century took the pulse of his time- and ours-better than Andy Warhol. ” Pop Art influenced popular culture and mass media during the twentieth-century and well into the beginning of the twenty-first-century and no other artists has defined it as well as Warhol. Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1928. “He was a physically and p psychologically fragile from boyhood and insecure about his freakish appearance and his homosexuality. He was emotionally hapless and sexually timid, terrified of Practically everything”( Puente). In 1945,
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Warhol went to Carnegie Institute of Technology where he majored in pictorial design. After college, he moved to New York City and landed a job as a commercial artist, where he worked as an illustrator for several magazines, such as Bazaar, Vogue, and the New Yorker. He also did window displays for retail stores. Throughout the 1950’s Warhol won several commendations from the Art Directors club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts and in 1952, he had his first individual show at the Hugo Gallery, showing drawings based on the writings of Truman Capote (Andy).
Warhol couldn’t figure out how to break through, so he “pestered his friends and art-world contacts for ideas. For fifty dollars a gallery owner suggested the can’s of Campbell’s soup”(Puente), which is now one of his signature styles. In the 1960’s Warhol created several paintings that remain icons of the twentieth century, such has Campbell’s Soup Cans, Disasters, and Marilyn’s. Warhol also made several 16mm films, which are underground classics. In 1968, Valerie Solanis, walked into Warhol’s studio and shot him, the attack was almost fatal. Warhol focused on his paintings during the 1970’s. The artist began the 1980’s with the publication of POPism: The Warhol ‘60s and with exhibitions of portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century and the Retrospectives and Reversal series”(Andy). After routine gall bladder surgery, Warhol died on February 22nd, 1987. Warhol is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. David Horowitz states in his book, The Peoples Voice: a populist Cultural History of Modern America, that “Just as some elements of the counterculture expressed hostility to the market, pop art practitioners sought to incorporate the materials of ordinary life into painting and printmaking”(Horowitz).
Realism and naturalism were new movements in America during the twentieth century, but modernism and its boost of art to a new level of self-reliance created a new art that summarized the mindset of people and not the physical description of them. Americans moved from rural areas to urban areas that embodied their social position and this was shown in modernist’s artwork. Warhol took modernism and its assumptions and altered them to his perspective. Warhol made people think what exactly is art? what is an artist? And he changed how art should be displayed.
Warhol challenged the modernist perspective and became one of the most recognized artists from the century because of it. Horowitz also explained, “using commonly available media like vinyl, Plexiglas, and neon, Warhol elevated consumer objects to the level of art. The legendary figure built a cottage industry around widely disseminated silkscreen replicas of soup and soda cans and images of Marilyn Monroe, winning praise as an egalitarian commemorator of everyday life and a rebel against the elitist art establishment. ”
Andy Warhol has been dead for twenty-three years but his artwork is still popular everywhere. In Maria Puente’s article, “Andy Warhol is popping up all over the place” she talks about how Warhol’s pop art collections as productive as ever; “His face stares at shoppers from Gap store windows. His artwork speeds down slopes on snowboards and embellishes Levi’s jeans, Royal Elastics shoes and Diane von Furstenberg’s upcoming swimsuits. Pop culture fans sport Warhol jewelry and watches. Spritz Warhol perfumes on pulse points and hang Warhol handbags from their shoulders.
Enthusiasts can even furnish their homes with Warhol- from rugs to dinner plates to bed linens. ” I think that Andy Warhol changed how art was viewed in the twentieth century and his artwork has been so popular it is still an ideal most people recognize. In the twentieth century people went saw his artwork in museums and in magazines, now his artwork is on clothing items, posters, dinner plates, cards, pins, and everything you can think of. I mean on of his original self-portraits was for sale in November for over one million dollars.
If one of his many self-portraits can sell for over one million dollars means his artwork had a huge impact on the culture. Andy Warhol was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. “Campbell’s Soup Can, a later, enlarged, and isolated version of the tomato soup can, conveys the erroneous impression that Warhol was out solely to apotheosize the idiom of popular culture” (Honnef). America’s social effects were equally important to Warhol. “What made American fabulous, he once explained, was that it established a tradition in which the richest consumers basically bought the same products as the poorest.
You could watch television and drink a Coca Cola and you knew the president drank Coke, Liz Taylor drank Coke, and there you were drinking Coke. A Coke was a Coke, concluded Warhol, and no amount of money could buy you a better one”(Honnef). That insight explains why Warhol set out to achieve something similar in his work of art. He used standardized production to infuse art with the “magic of the perpetually same”(Honnef). Andy Warhol enriched the world by providing us with and idol from the world of art. Warhol was an artist of his time.
He was a pop artist who saw contemporary art and the art world move to a new era. Warhol was “in fact a producer of a software for a form of art which paralleled the social system”( Honnef). Warhol reacted to the challenges of his time and gave a new dimension to the world of art. His art had its subversive features, for it uncovered the hidden mechanisms of the modern industrial, the society, and it exposed connections that were normally only visible through depth. Works Cited “Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts”. March 2009. Web. 3 March 2010. . “Dictionary. com. ” January 2010. Web. 24 March 2010. . Greenberg, Jan and Jordan, Sandra. Andy Warhol: Prince of Pop. New York: Delacorte Press, 2004 Honnef, Klaus. WARHOL. Taschen: 2007. Horowitz, David. The Peoples Voice: A Populist Cultural History of Modern America. Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY: Sloan Publishing, 2008. Puente, Maria. “Andy Warhol’s genius, eccentricities just ‘Pop’. ” USA Today. 11 December 2009. Final ed. Puente, Maria. “Andy Warhol is popping up all over the place. ” USA Today. 1 April 2008. Final ed.
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