Andy Warhol, born in Pittsburg, Penslvania, was by far the most famous of all the pop art artists, and arguably the most influential. After having a successful career as an illustrator for comericial companies, he went on to recieve worldwide acclaim for his work as a photographer, painter, author, record producer, filmaker and public figure. He was a pioneer of the pop art movement, but it was not only his pop art paintings that brought him fame.
Warhol was openly gay, which was very controversial at the time. He was also notorious for hanging out in wildly differing social circles that included wealthy aristocrats, hollywood celebrities, intellectuals and bohemiam street folk.
Andy Warhol’s pop art paintings were characterised by putting unconventional and un-arty materials to his creations such as comics, prints, writing etc. He successfully blurred the borders between industrial products and art. He used to paint in bright colours and documented the products consumed by Americans.
Some of Warhol’s best pop art paintings include Red Car Crash, Purple Jumping Man, Orange Disaster, cans of Campbell’s Soup, A Shot Of Marilyn Monroe and the BMW Art Car Project.
Warhol was also known for breaking traditional art boundaries by duplicating his creations many times. One of his most famous pop art paintings to this day, which incorporated this technique, was ‘A Shot of Marilyn Monroe’. ‘A Shot of Marilyn Monroe’ represented the star and social icon of that time, Marilyn Monroe, duplicated several times and in industrial colours. In this world-known pop art portrait he turned the superstar and idolised actress into an accessible duplicated image that the public could hang up in their homes. By doing this he furthered the blurred line between Marilyn Monroe as a person and as a product.
The ‘Green Coco-Cola Bottles’ artwork was created in 1962 by Warhol. The bottles are painted in perfect precision and requires the viewer to focus on each bottle individually as they’re not unified. The precision an d the clean and cold-cut effect are characteristic of pop art paintings. The ‘Coca-cola Bottles’ are part empty. This creates the irony that machines are capable of making errors, not just humans.
Warhol used these everyday banal objects as the subject of his pop art paintings to ironically criticise the capitalistic ways of the consumerist society that had developed. In doing so, he began to diminish the gap between reality and art.
Over the years Warhol got christened with the title the ‘Pope of Pop’, and rightfully so…We love you Andy Warhol!