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Article: Andy Warhol : behind the canvas

Andy Warhol : Derrière les Toiles

Andy Warhol : behind the canvas

We are August 6, 1928 in Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and it is Saint Octave day ... but not only. On this memorable day, the world welcomes one of the greatest artists of the 20th century: Andy warhol.

Andrew Warhola Junior was born from a Ruthene family from Slovakia. Andy Warhol's first years were very important for his personal development. Unhappy at school and reached the Sydenham chorea (infectious disease of the central nervous system), it remains mostly in bed. He will take advantage of this time to draw and collect photos.

Upon his arrival in New York in the early 1950s, Warhol began his career in advertising as an illustrator, working for magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. His distinctive style, characterized by clear lines and bright colors, attracted attention and earned him an increasing reputation in the artistic and advertising world.

In 1952, his first exhibition at Hugo Gallery took place in New York.

He then continues a lot of exhibitions and gained notoriety in the world. In 1956 and 1957 he won a prize for his advertisements.

From the 1960s, Andy Warhol made his first paintings, especially on the theme of comics.

Warhol emerges at this time as a central figure in the pop art movement. His artistic approach was to transform ordinary objects into works of art, seeking to raise popular culture to the rank of art. The famous "Campbell's Soup Cans" (1962), a series of 32 canvases representing different varieties of canned soup, have become emblematic of this approach.

He also composes his first series on American stars, such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, via screen printing, a printing technique.

In , Warhol opens the Factory. It is an artistic workshop. It was a meeting place for many artists, musicians, actors and celebrities of the time in which creativity bubbed, and in which Warhol encouraged collaboration and experimentation. He will also shoot several experimental films, such as Sleep, where we see the poet John Giorno in his sleep for five hours and 21 minutes.

It was the same year that Warhol was at the origin of his first scandal. During the New York Universal Exhibition on the theme of peace through understanding, he presented Thirteen Most Wanted Men, a painting that shows 13 judicial identity photos of criminals.

This work will be covered because it was shocking at the time.

During these same years, Andy Warhol will say "In the Future, Everyone Will Be World-Famous for 15 minutes". This idea reflects its fascination for fame and the way in which notoriety can be ephemeral in mass culture at a time when television and the media began to play a predominant role in daily life. His observation was an anticipation of the growing impact of the media on the creation and perception of celebrity. 

Warhol was also the victim of an assassination attempt on June 3, 1968. The woman who shot him, Valerie Solanas, was a radicalist writer who had entrusted him with the manuscript of a play he tried too much obscene. The shots pulled his lung, the spleen, the stomach, the liver and the esophagus.

Although Warhol miraculously survived after being declared clinically dead, this event had a significant impact on his life and his career. 

This experience has left physical consequences and had an impact on his mental health, contributing to feelings of anxiety. He also became more reluctant to show himself in public and adopted a more cautious approach in his social interactions. Some of his subsequent work is sometimes interpreted as reflecting a deeper exploration of themes related to death.

In 1972, he returned to screen printing portraits, like those of Mao Zedong.

Between 1979 and 1980, Warhol created a program entitled "Andy Warhol's TV". It was a series of short videos made by Warhol and his team. The show presented various segments, often interviews with personalities of pop culture and the artistic world.

In the 80s, Warhol began major retrospective series.

It was also during these years that he met Jean-Michel Basquiat And Keith Haring.

At that moment, still graffiti artists, he will take them under his wing.

 A great collaboration will start with Basquiat. Their works are characterized by the artistic style of Warhol and the street art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. One of the best known collaborative works is a series of paintings entitled "Warhol/Basquiat" in 1984-1985. These works were exhibited publicly and caught the attention of the international artistic scene.

Andy Warhol died at the age of 58, heart failure, following an operation of the gallbladder.

His death had a significant impact on the artistic and cultural community. Andy Warhol was an emblematic figure of the world of contemporary art, and his disappearance left a void in the artistic landscape. His influence continues to be felt, and his heritage is celebrated through his works, his innovative approach to art and its lasting impact on popular culture.

At Artoyz, figurines and books are offered to perpetuate the work of Andy Warhol. These objects offer a tangible and artistic way to celebrate its inheritance, allowing art lovers to discover or rediscover their work.

Let's start with our favorite teddy bears : Bearbricks !

Bearbrick Andy Warhol X The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers

Bearbrick Andy Warhol - Mick Jagger
Bearbrick Andy Warhol - The Last Supper Bearbrick Andy Warhol - Brillo 2022

If you prefer something more realistic we can offer you two portrait made by Medicom Toy

We also invite you to explore our collection of books highlighting the work of Andy Warhol.


 Finally, do not miss a look at this superb banana -shaped cushion.

Andy Warhol - Banana Plush - The Last Supper

To conclude, let us remember that "success is a full-time job", a philosophy that Warhol has instilled through its innovative art.

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