10 Aug Happy Birthday Mr Warhol
On August 6th Andy Warhol would have turned 90, which got me to read more about him and wanted to share some interesting facts about the king of the Pop Art movement.
Shot Marilyns, 1964
Although known as one of the most emblematic New Yorker, Andy Warhol was actually from a small neighbourhood in Pittsburg, and raised by Czechoslovakian parents. He was raised a Byzantine Catholic and is buried in a Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Pennsylvania as a homage to his heritage and his religion.
Warhol contracted chorea at 8, a neurological disorder characterized by jerky involuntary movements affecting especially the shoulders, hips, and face. The disease left him bedridden. His mother Julia gave him his first art lessons as he lay in bed.
Eight Elvises, 1963
When his father passed away, young Andy Warhol was given an endowment that allowed him to enrol in Carnegie Institute for Technology.
Andy Warhol met with some opposition by professors who did not always approve of his unique style. In fact, he had to do extra work over the course of one summer to remain at good academic standing.
Warhol was a hypochondriac and was scared of hospitals and doctors.
Big Electric Chair, 1967
Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’ studio in New York moved three times between 1962 and 1984. The Factory, a place for intellect, art, and sexual intrigue saw a number of people including artists, porn stars, drag queens, musicians, and drug addicts. Some famous people who hung out at The Factory included David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono. In fact, Lou Reed’s song, Walk on the Wild Side references Factory events and guests.
Andy Warhol was shot and nearly died on 3rd June 1968. The shooter was Valerie Solanas. a radical feminist, who urged women to break the government and destroy men. In the 1960s, she presented Andy Warhol with a script for Up Your Ass, which he later stole or lost. As compensation, Warhol cast her in his film, I, A Man. On June 3, 1968, Solanas entered the Factory and shot Warhol. She ended up turning herself in and was treated for paranoid Schizophrenia. Warhol was kept in a New York hospital for weeks after to recover.
Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962
Hard to believe but Warhol was a 58 years old virgin as he always claimed that he had never had sex.
After his brush with death in 1968, Warhol became more reserved and concerned about his life. He was having financial problems with the IRS, which also led to his obsessive behaviour.
Andy Warhol died on 22nd February 1987 following post gallbladder surgery complications.
When Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987, he donated his estate to the arts. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established to foster the growth and development of creative arts. The foundation offers grants to artists seeking to have their work exhibited. Warhol has continued to play a role in the arts long after his death.
Portrait of Maurice, 1976