Andy Warhol (1928–1987) and Pop Art are always synonymous, the artist being the uncontended leader of the movement. Emerging from the poverty and obscurity of an Eastern European immigrant family in Pittsburgh, the artist Andy Warhol became a charismatic magnet for bohemian New York. In 1960, he began to produce his first canvases representing Popeye and Dick Tracy. After Marilyn Monroe’s death in August 1962, he started working from snapshots of the star’s already legendary face, which had been widely distributed by the world’s press. His choice of subjects clearly relates to an obsession with demise – his Marilyns, his Ten Lizes (created when the actress Elizabeth Taylor was seriously ill), and also his Elvis.
“Once you ‘got’ Pop, you could never see a sign again in the same way again. And once you thought Pop, you could never see America in the same way again.”
Part of his series called “death and disaster”, Andy Warhol´s Marilyn Monroes are undoubtedly iconic portraits of our era, exploring as they do the artist’s fascination for images of death and beauty. He worked across many media as a painter, printmaker, illustrator, film-maker and writer, and produced many world-famous series. Andy Warhol Flower´s series reinterpret a traditional motif spanning the history of art, while Warhol´s Cambell´s Soup Can series represents the mass-produced, printed advertisements which inspired him. Towards the end of 1962, the artist turned to the photo-silkscreen process, which became his signature medium. From 1963 up until 1968, the year in which he was shot, Warhol – surrounded by assistants in his studio The Factory – took the industrial character of his work to its climax. Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions and books, as well as feature and documentary films. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist. Andy Warhol´s artworks are some of the most influential works of art of the second half of the twentieth century, representing the most recognisable images ever produced.