Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
American painter, draftsman, graphic artist and film producer, Andy Warhol was born in Pennsylvania, the son of Czechoslovakian immigrant parents. He studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Pictorial Design, and subsequently worked as an advertising draftsman in New York. Warhol had his first one-man exhibition in 1952. By the early 1960's, he was the most controversial of all American Pop Artists, his name becoming the most widely known both in and outside of the country.
The Pop Art movement began as a reaction against the seriousness of Abstract Expressionism. Warhol, along with other artists of the movement, turned away from the emphasis on emotion in favor of a hard-line realism that made use of many common images associated with popular media. He took his subject matter from commercial "art" - magazine photographs of famous film stars, horror comics, advertisement illustrations of mass-produced consumer goods, turning this material into fine art without destroying its character as kitsch.
At a time when enigma is one of the most sought after of aesthetic virtues, Andy Warhol has achieved the difficult feat of remaining the most enigmatic artist of all. Since he first gained fame for his Campbell's Soup Cans and Brillo Box sculptures at the beginning of the Pop Art movement in the early sixties, critics and the public have argued constantly about him and the success of his art. Still, of all the post-war artists, Warhol has made the most obvious breaks with tradition and has shown the most single-minded consistency.