Brief History of Andy Warhol: Pop Art King

Brief History of Andy Warhol: Pop Art King


[MUSIC PLAYING] Guess which artist lived
with this man most of his life, was obsessed with Hollywood
and ice cream, bald as a bat but loved crazy wigs, and
loved to cover everything in aluminum foil? Yep, it’s Andy Warhol. You intrigued? So was I. (VOICEOVER) This
episode is funded by the Glick Fund and the
Christal DeHann Family Foundation, who inspire
philanthropy and creativity. [MUSIC PLAYING] Warhol was born
Andrew Warhola in 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
to Julia and Andrej Warhola. Both his parents were
Czechoslovakian immigrants who worked incredibly
hard to get here. The couple had three sons– Paul, John, and
Andrew, the youngest. Andy was moody, prone to
panic attacks, and rather shy. In fact, while in
grade school, Andy once refused to return to school
after a female student slapped him. His mom, Julia– who loved
how dependent Andy was on his mama– pulled Andy out of school
for the next two years. Even though Julia was a
bit of a helicopter mom, she was a bit of
an artist herself. She could be found putting
flower arrangements together in Campbell’s Soup cans,
which also happened to be Andy’s favorite lunch. You better believe
that resurfaced later. Even when Andy was at school,
he was often home sick due to a nervous
system disorder which caused his skin to change
color and give him a fever. Interestingly, it
was while home sick, Andy started listening
to the radio, sketching, and
collecting lots of 8 by 10 glossies of movie stars– a hobby he later said
helped define his career. He was especially obsessed
with Shirley Temple. After graduating
high school, Andy attended the School of Fine
Arts at Carnegie Institute, now known as Carnegie
Mellon University. Even though he appeared
meek and quiet, Andy would apparently
outperform the other students in his art assignments–
the quiet art ninja you never see coming. To make extra money,
Andy’s brothers would sell produce from
the back of a truck, while Andy would make quick
portraits of customers for $0.25 a pop. Check out this sweet
contour drawing. Andy definitely realized
how to turn art into cash. In 1949, Andy exhibited a
painting in the Pittsburgh Association of Artists,
playfully called doughs: “Nose Picker”. The actual title was “The
Broad Gave Me My Face, But I Can Pick My Own Nose”. You’ve got to love that. The jury couldn’t decide
if it was groundbreaking or just dreadful. In the end, it was rejected but
earned indeed some good street cred in the art world. Just before graduating
in 1949, Andy considered becoming a
high school art teacher. In fact, he put his resume
in for a job here in Indiana, but didn’t get the job. It was during the same
year, Andy’s friend, Philip Pearlstine, convinced
him to move to New York. On his second day– second day– in the city,
he snagged a commission for “Glamour” magazine. When the art director asked
him what he could draw, Andy says, “I can
draw anything.” I love his response. It was also during this
time that Andy dropped the A off his given last
name of Warhola, when an article he illustrated
made a typo and dropped it. Andy liked it, so
he went with it. Andy quickly became
one of the most sought after commercial
artist in New York, with magazines such as
“Glamour”, “Vogue”, and “Vanity Fair” wanting his designs. Andy would make the rounds
with clients during the day and sketch late into the night. Then, his assistants
would transfer the designs onto another sheet. This created that distinctive
blotted line design everybody loved, which earned him
design awards, contracts, and a lot of cash. It was right about this time
that Andy’s mom, Julia, decided to move to New York in
his basement apartment off 75th Street– and then, to a townhouse
off Lexington Avenue to “look after” Andy. Apparently, Julia and Andy
loved them some kitty cats, since they had several
living with them. According to friends,
maybe a bit too many, since they reported the place
often smell like cat pee. Ah, kitty cats. [CATS MEOWING] But hey, they somehow
worked it out, since they were
roommates for 20 years– cat pee and all. In 1957, Andy was
doing so well, he started Andy Warhol
Enterprises Incorporated. But as the fashion world went
in a different direction, Andy’s business empire
started falling apart, and he scrambled to find
more commissions to keep up his swanky lifestyle. But a significant change was
happening in the art world. As things shifted away from
abstract expressionism, artists such as Jasper Johns
and Robert Rauschenberg were now getting their chance
to show in a big gallery, and Andy saw an opportunity. Andy 2.0 was not going to
just be in Illustrator, but an accomplished artist. His goal was to exhibit
at Leo Castelli Gallery, but he often had shows
that the Serendipity 3 restaurant– which
was also his favorite stop for frozen hot chocolate. In fact, we had a chance to
go sit down with the owner, Stephen Bruce, who helped put
on these art shows for Andy, and told us about his
friendship with him. And yes, I tried the
frozen hot chocolate– I’m not going to– it was epic, it was awesome. Warhol was now a
commercial artist by day and a painter by night. His first pop art
painting advertisement was a collage of ads for food,
fitness, and facial surgery. But the real
breakthrough happened after Warhol painted two
different Coke bottle paintings. One was more abstract,
and the other simply had clean line design. He invited filmmaker
Emil DeAntonio over to check them out. Emil simply tells him
the abstract one is crap, the other one is remarkable. Destroy the first one,
and show the other. Needless to say,
he took the advice. In comes the 60s, along
with Andy’s new persona– a tough makeover, complete
with leather jacket, jeans, sunglasses, ankle
boots, and a messy wig. Oh, and just in case
you didn’t know, Andy started going
bald pretty early. So his way of embracing it was
changing out crazy wigs often. I got to love the approach. Now that he had the
art world’s attention, he wanted to keep his
momentum, but wasn’t sure what to do next. It was while hanging out with
gallery owner, Mario Lehto, that he paid her 50
bucks to tell him what should he paid next. Mario asked him one simple
question– what do you love? Andy answered with Campbell’s
Soup and money, good use of 50 bucks. It was in 1962 at
the Ferus Gallery, Warhol hung 32 of his
Campbell’s Soup cans. He hung them around the gallery
to resemble a grocery store. This show completely
challenged the public’s idea of what a valid art subject was. Soon after this show,
pop art hit big. Artists such as Roy
Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg were leading the way
and were infamously called the New Realists. These artists were gathering
ideas from pop culture– cars, comics, and celebrities,
hence, the term “pop art”. In 1964, Warhol went for it
and purchased a former factory on Union Square. He hired Billy Lynch to decorate
the entire in and silver. Warhol then filled the
walls of the factory with faux food boxes
resembling grocery store walls. It was in autumn
of ’64 that Warhol had a show called “Flowers at
the Musee Dart Moderne De La Ville De Paris”, where
he fills the walls with over 400 paintings. Serial imagery to the extreme. It was after this
show that Warhol announced he was “retiring” from
painting and going into film. Of course, like an NBA
superstar, that retirement– it didn’t last too long. Warhol’s film career was one of
the most fascinating, bizarre, and– well– highly
controversial. The main aspect of many of his
films was playing with time. For example, his film,
“Empire” is six full hours of the iconic skyscraper as
it disappears into the night. Now, my personal favorite is
Andy simply eating a hamburger. [JAZZ PIANO PLAYING] Nonetheless, he definitely
developed a cult following for his films,
and even won some awards. Unfortunately, in 1968,
playwright Valerie Solanas walked into the factory
and shot Warhol in a stunt to promote her new play. Yeah, she took it a bit too far. After six hours of
surgery, Andy literally came back from the dead. Jumping ahead into
the 70s, Warhol found himself once
again in Paris at the opening of
Centre Pompidou. Warhol returned home super
inspired, with new energy and desire to paint. For years, Warhol pushed
against abstract expressionism. But this time, he
decided to give it a go. He created what he calls
his oxidation paintings, where he tested
chemical reactions using the acid in urine with
a variety of metal paints. Bet you didn’t see that
one coming, did you? Warhol would have his assistants
eat a bunch of vitamin B and tell them not to pee before
they came to the factory. Then, the painting began. Pretty interesting, right? Just a year after
in 1987, Warhol was commissioned
to create a series of religious paintings,
which are actually some of my favorite pieces– especially his take
on “The Last Supper”. Unfortunately, it
was this same year that Warhol went in for
gallbladder surgery. He had started to
make a good recovery. However, due to an irregular
heartbeat, he died in his sleep at the hospital on February
22, at the young age of 58. Andy Warhol was a master
artist and a huge collector. In fact, after his death,
it took Christie’s 10 days to auction off all
his collectibles, bringing in over $20 million. As for his paintings,
they still remain some of the most sought after
our works in the entire world. In fact, in 1963, “Silver
Car Crash Double Disaster” went for $105 million. While often
misunderstood, Warhol was one of the most
amazing individuals who loved family, and loved
the power of creativity. He knew how to capture
the culture of his day and present it in a way
that made us all stop, think, and experience
our world differently. [MUSIC PLAYING] (VOICEOVER) Hey, did you know
that subscribing to our channel is one of the most
epic things you can do? That’s right– subscribe
now, share our episodes, so that we can actually
make more of these things. I’m not going to lie– I love showing you where
creativity and innovation are happening. Get on board and be outrageous. [MUSIC PLAYING]

33 thoughts on “Brief History of Andy Warhol: Pop Art King

  1. Nice documentary on Warhol. I used to sell him and other Pop Art painters as well. Very fun! Some of my own work has a Pop influence.

  2. Solanas didn't shoot Warhol as a "stunt". Also this is generally out of order, and kind of glosses over the actual impact he had on the art industry.

  3. So.. When I was a kid. I used to laugh at the video of Warhol eating a hamburger. Now.. I have a newfound respect for it. It went "viral" before the internet and social media was a platform. Its probably the first ever "mukbang" video and it captures our weird fascination of watching a person dine on film. Kind of like that "strudel" scene in inglorious bastards or that prison dinner scene in Goodfellas. And when I finally got around to watching 66 Scenes From America, the film that the burger scene was shot for.. I understood there and then that Jorgen Leth wanted to give audiences the world over a glimpse into America.. At that specific point of time. Frozen on film. If I had to put America 1980s onto film in only 3-4 minutes.. You won't go too wrong with Warhols quirky mannerisms, chewing down a Burger King.

  4. If he had something to say he would have said it; verbally or through his art. It was a case of someone literally willing themself into the public eye. He loved the money and the fame but had no way to justify his existence in the art world. And so knowing full well that his career was a scam, that he had hoaxed the entire world with his nonsense, he portrayed a cynical and sarcastic arrogance. It would be a nonissue, Warhol would just be a tiny blip in the history of art, forgotten for all time, except that people more stupid than he actually bought into it. And some of those people had a lot of influence and a lot of money. And now we are still dealing with the aftermath of Warhol wannabes selling out museums and galleries of absolute trite garbage in the name of so-called art. Sad.

  5. ok, you have no idea how much this helped me! My art history professor is going to ask me some questions about pop art tomorrow since I was absent for two weeks and now I feel way more confident, thanks!

  6. inspired to know there were some artists who really bent the rules when it came to their work
    thanks for your efforts, it helped me and i found value in it
    cheerio
    tushaar

  7. i don't b uy it. We can't call an artist in the same vain when using that word to describe michealngelo or picasso, and andy and even more,, pollock. I don't buy it man. They're something else, but not artist. Idk why, i just don't buy it.

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