10 things that made Andy Warhol provocation genius an outstanding artist
Today Andy Warhol is a famous American artist, designer, sculptor, producer, director, writer, and magazine publisher. He is called the founder of the ideology “homouniversale” and a genius provocateur, he is the author of works that have become synonymous with the concept of commercial pop art. Andy Warhol has made art accessible to the masses so that people learn to see the beauty of everyday things and understand that everything that surrounds them is beautiful in essence.
Warhol’s paintings are so mysterious due to the fact that his life is a complete mystery. The further you dig into his biography, the more you realize that you did not know anything about this artist. Here are ten examples that further blur the line between the life and art of Andy Warhol.
1. He knew how to turn trash into objects of art
Surely, the notorious Plyushkin would envy Warhol. The artist literally kept everything that went through his workshop. In his studio reigned mountains of newspaper clippings, art supplies and materials, posters, audio cassettes, photographs, books and magazines, decorative art and, of course, his famous wigs.
But what exactly is the quantity of “heritage” in question. The Warhol Museum estimates that its collection has more than 230 cubic meters of material or more than 500,000 items. Only 4,000 cassettes have survived. In addition, there are “time capsules” that Warhol began to make in 1974. Today, there are more than 600 such mini-archives containing photographic films, letters, invitations, and much more. If you take an inventory of 100 objects per day, it will take more than 13 years to make out the entire collection of the artist.
2. Poking around in the nose
Warhol has attracted attention since his student years. While studying at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949, he first painted a picture in which a person picks his nose, and presented it at the exhibition. The jury clearly did not appreciate this work.
Renamed “Don’t Choose Me,” this picture attracted attention as part of the next year’s student show. Subsequently, Warhol created a series of “picking his nose.”
The greatest influence in youth on Warhol had his mother. Julia Zavatskaya was born in Czechoslovakia and emigrated to the States with her husband Andrei Warhol. From early childhood, Julia introduced her three sons to art, including music, dance and painting.
At the age of six, Andy fell ill with the Sydegam chorea, also known as St. Witt’s Dance. A rare disease of the nervous system confined the child to bed for several months. It was then that his mother first began to teach him how to draw. The interest in art was fueled by the brothers who brought Andy comics and photographs of Hollywood celebrities (the boy was very dear to his autograph Shirley Temple).
When Andy was 9 years old, his mother gave him the first camera. The boy became interested in photography and equipped a photo lab in the basement of their house. When he first hit the commercial art scene in New York, Andy’s first projects were most strongly supported by his mother.
4. Movie screening
Few people know about this, but in 1963-1968 Warhol shot several hundred films. For example, in the 1963 film Sleep, a sleeping guy (John Jorno, who was Warhol’s lover at the time) was shown for 5.5 hours. In the 1964 film Empire, the skyscraper of the Empire State Building in New York is shown in slow motion for 8 hours. At least some commercial success was achieved only by the underground film “Girls from Chelsea” in 1966, filmed in collaboration with Paul Morrissey.
Less well known are the 472 four-minute “Screen Tests” that Warhol began shooting in 1964. It was essentially his celluloid equivalent of canvas portraiture. In most of these shorts, everyone around Warhol was captured. Most of these people remain anonymous, but some are hard to recognize – these are Bob Dylan, Salvador Dali and Lou Reed.
5. Recording industry
Two album covers designed by Warhol have been remembered for decades. The cover of the Velvet Underground & Nico debut album in 1967 featured a banana that could be “peeled” (the peel peeled off), and the cover of the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album in 1971 had a real zip fastener.
Warhol began making the earliest cover designs back in the 1950s. Warhol’s distinctive blotting technique captivated advertisers and magazine editors.
6. Rock Star
According to Warhol’s assistant Paul Morrissey, Warhol became a rock manager when a Broadway producer turned to him. Impresario planned to open a dance club in an abandoned air hangar in Queens, and he wanted to attract the famous artist to this. Morrissey proposed creating his own group, so Warhol went shopping. He met Lou Reed at a Café Bizarre concert and signed a contract with his manager in late 1965.