Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Warhol, Andy

Gold Marilyn Monroe
Silkscreen ink on synthetic polymer paint on canvas
other detail unknown
-Fair use-

Warhol painted the canvas an iridescent gold and silkscreened the star's face in the center of the composition. This work is based on a publicity still for the 1953 movie Niagara. By duplicating a photograph known to millions, Warhol undermined the uniqueness and authenticity characteristic of traditional portraiture. Instead he presented Monroe as an infinitely reproducible image.

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, PA, was an iconic and versatile Pop artist. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s.

After studying design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, he moved to New York City in 1949 to pursue a career as a commercial artist. Though successful, he wanted to be an independent painter, and in the early 1960s began to create paintings based on advertisement imagery.

As his fame grew, he built a studio called The Factory on 47th street in New York City, and collected a group of eccentrics he called the "Superstars", with whom he created a number of experimental films, such as Sleep, Chelsea Girls, and Empire, which were often banned by the police for their vulgarity.

In 1968, a former member of Warhol’s entourage, attempted to kill the artist and others outside of The Factory. Narrowly surviving, Warhol withdrew from his bohemian circle and occupied himself in the 1970s creating celebrity portraits, which brought him considerable earnings, but weakened his critical approval. He died in 1987 due to complications following an operation. As per his desire, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established after his death.