Andy Warhol, the symbolic artist of Pop Art, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 6, 1928. I immediately showed an innate artistic talent, and I study advertising art at Carnegie Institute of Technology, the current Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh . After graduating in 1949, he moved to New York. The ‘big apple’ immediately offered him multiple opportunities to establish himself in the world of advertising, working for magazines such as Vogue and Glamor . Andy Warhol and Pop Art
Andy Warhol’s most famous works have become icons: Marilyn Monroe, Mao Tse-Tung, Che Guevara and many others. Repetition has become his hallmark: on large canvases he reproduced the same image many times, altering its colors. By taking advertising images of big commercial brands (famous for example his Coca Cola bottles ), or impactful images such as traffic accidents or electric chairs, he was able to empty the images he represented of any meaning by repeating them several times.
His art, which carried the shelves of a supermarket into a museum or an art exhibition, is provocative: according to one of the greatest exponents of Pop Art, art had to be ‘consumed’ like any other product commercial. He was also the founder of the Factory, a place where young New York artists could find a collective space to create: famous artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente , Keith Haring were born or spent a short time here . Andy Warhol’s most famous works ‘DO IT YOURSELF’ – Museum Ludwind, Cologne
This work is an acrylic, pastel and letraset on canvas; the Do It Yourself series consists of five paintings made in 1962. It does not say that we can all make art, but rather that art itself has nothing sublime, but more simply can help fill a void. To create Do It Yourself (Landscape), Warhol prints on the canvas a prefabricated pattern divided into areas to be colored on the basis of a trivial number-color correspondence, and fills some sections of it and then interrupts the work in the middle. In this way, the artist ironically invites the viewer to finish the work left halfway: an invitation that Andy Warhol really advanced in his advertising period, when he gathered his friends in cheerful coloring parties, dedicated to the watercolor or pastel coloring of his drawings. .‘ONE DOLLAR BILLS’ –
192 One Dollar Bills is a work by Andy Warhol depicting a series of one dollar bills. Warhol writes: “Buying is much more American than thinking, and I am very American. In Europe and in the East people love to trade … Americans are not so interested in selling, in fact they prefer to throw away than to sell. What they really love is buying: people, money, countries ”. From this thought comes the choice to paint money. The procedure is particular: the artist relies on the screen printing method starting from a line drawing. The generated pictures can simply reproduce a single enlarged banknote, or, as in this case, a series of banknotes placed side by side in series ordered on a single canvas. Andy Warhol exploits the mechanical potential of screen printing,‘BIG CAMPBELL’ – The Menil Collection, Houston
It is a pop work from 1962 made with casein and pastel on canvas. Between 1960 and 1961 Andy Warhol throws himself into a spasmodic search for a subject not yet tempted, part of the popular imagination, with which to propose himself to the fore of art. He begins to paint Campbell’s soup cans and dollar bills. The first series of cans has a curious genesis, which is well suited to explain Warhol’s new systematic nature: bought a sample for each type of soup at the supermarket, the artist dedicates himself to the reproduction of each with a frontal portrait, on a white background. , enlarging it until it fills the entire surface of the canvas. The series ends when the types of soup to be represented run out. To this first series, proposed in May 1962 at the Ferus Galleryof Los Angeles in an installation that recalls the display methods of a department store, countless variations will follow: cans shrunk in the center of the canvas, attacked by a can opener, crumpled or with the unglued label that reveals the oxidized tin, or even endlessly repeated in long overlapping lines.100 CANS’ – Allbright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
“100 Cans” is a spray and pastel paint on canvas; protagonist and subject of 100 Cans, or 100 cans, and the can of Campbell soup. With these words Andy Warhol explains the choice that led to its realization: “I ate it habitually. Always the same lunch every day, for twenty years, if I’m not mistaken, the same thing every time. Someone said that my life dominated me: I liked this idea. ” In reality, in choosing the Campbell soup, the important thing is not so much that the artist painted something that was part of his life, but that he drew on the daily experience of all Americans, giving new visibility to something already hyper -visible and hyper-represented. By painting one hundred cans of soup in an orderly row, side by side, Warhol shows us the true face of America, the country of consumerism and repetition, devoid of any critical attitude, and indeed identifying itself completely with this way of relating to life. Warhol is well aware that the dream of consumerism has come true best in Western democracies, and he reveals it by showing us that we all have the same idols, look at the same things, think the same and eat the same soup.‘MARILYN’ – Andy Warhol Foundation, New York
This work consists of a folder containing 10 screenprints on paper that Andy Warhol made in 1967, all dedicated to the American diva and which are added to a larger collection, always made after the half of the 1960s, which portrayed several famous people, icons of the image of the time, such as the serigraphs on Mao Tse-Tung. This series belongs to the first serigraphs that Warhol made and is characterized by a more intense chromatic force and a very delineated design. The folder dedicated to Marilyn is one of the most famous and cited by the American artist and is characterized by a chromatic richness that changes from screen to screen printing, playing on complementary contrasts of colors such as blue, red, green, blue and the pink.‘THE LAST SUPPER’ –
Between 1985 and 1987 Andy Warhol, at the invitation of the gallery owner Alexandre Jolas, created a cycle of large-format works (about a hundred) dedicated to the theme of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, revisited according to the artistic typology of Pop Art. The Last Supper represents among other things the last demonstration of the artist, who died shortly thereafter, a work that was commissioned from him by Credito Valtellinese. The large canvas was exhibited in the new headquarters of the Bank, right in front of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses the famous work of the Master Leonardo Da Vinci. The original title in English, The Last Supper, can represent both a strong reference to the evangelical scene, and the last soup painted by Andy Warhol (supper in English means soup).

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