Andy Warhol (1928-1987), one of the most prolific artists of his time created some of the iconic images of the 20th century, spanning across a variety of mediums. Warhol was obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production and drew inspiration from both popular culture and everyday subject matter to create works that straddled fine art and mainstream appeal.
Warhol started his career as a commercial artist in New York City in the early 1950s focusing on his own paintings later that decade. In 1961, Warhol introduced the concept of “Pop Art” — paintings that focused on mass-produced commercial good, and the following year he exhibited the now-iconic paintings of Campbell’s soup cans. His small canvas works of everyday consumer products created a major stir in the art world, catapulting both Warhol and his Pop Art movement into the national spotlight. Using silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color, he also experimented with other art forms including performance art, filmmaking and video installations.
Known for his cultivation of celebrity and as a fixture in New York’s nightlife scene, his Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons among countless others.