Our guest blogger today is Martha Lattie, an art history educator working for a number of colleges in the Cleveland area. She has worked for museums and private artist foundations for the last twenty years doing everything from running retail operations to curating exhibitions. She considers herself an art history generalist, but has recently developed an expertise in non-western art history. Today, she takes a look at Andy Warhol.
Soup to Nuts
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) has become one of the most popular artists of the late twentieth and into the early twenty-first centuries; this is interesting considering that he and his work were not very popular among the other artists and the public of the mid twentieth century when the genre known as "Pop Art" was in its infancy.
Warhol tried to align himself with other young innovative artists of the day such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg; however, his background in graphic arts (in which he had a good deal of success) caused the other young artists to look-down on his work as not being "fine art."
In the end, his fame and popularity would eclipse all of the other artists whose work was categorized as Pop Art and his influence, personality, and "star-power" would reach far beyond the art world and make a lasting impression on popular culture - the exact phenomenon he was trying to memorialize with his work.
Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962
His studio, The Factory, became a gathering place for the avant-garde as well as other people attracted to the movement because of the "fashionable chaos" taking place there. Warhol was attracted to many different types of people, the famous, rich, beautiful, and even dangerous people - who would cause him trouble. Even though he had all of these people around him at work,
Andy Warhol. Camouflage, 1986. 80" x 80". The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.
he lived in a brownstone he had purchased from his graphic art earnings with his mother Julia Warhola, the strongest influence in his life, and twenty-five cats until she returned to Pittsburgh in 1970. His mother died in 1972.
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