Andy Andy Warhol Andy Warhol Andy Warhol was considered a legend during his lifetime, as he brought thought to the everyday gossip and concepts of life. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1928 and studied at Carnegie Institute of Technology. After receiving his bachelor in fine arts he moved to New York City to become a commercial artist. In New York City he did work for the magazines Harper s Bazaar and Vogue. As he entered into the New York culture scene he began painting celebrity portraits. His work was influenced by the many famous artists during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, but also by the city life.
His paintings and other pieces of art brought controversy to the glitzy world of Hollywood and the celebrities and value within it. Warhol combined business and art and had the ability to overpower the trends of the 1960's. With this unique style and confidence, he entered the world of consumer advertising with such pieces as the Campbell Soup painting and more. The decade of the 1960 s is known even today as a decade of social and political change. He produced pieces such as his Gun painting and the Electric Chair painting to mirror his beliefs and / or disgust of controversial political concepts and happenings; however, this decade also included many celebrities in Hollywood and in political positions. He painted these people to portray the then-current social scene.
His interest in glamour, gossip, and politics was his greatest influence on what and how he painted. He died in 1987 but his popularity has remained just as strong. Warhol was a contemporary artist, using many different techniques and styles. He was not only a painter, but also a drawer, a photographer, a silkscreen er, and more. Most of his art included most or all of these different talents. As I mentioned above, his art was influenced by Hollywood and politics and most of his images were taken from media photographs of celebrities, photographs he took himself, or everyday objects.
He used acrylic and watercolor paints, photos, silkscreening materials, pastels, charcoal, and more. An Andy Warhol piece of art is easily distinguishable from other artists work; he used many different techniques all in one piece and the majority of his work has a repetition of the same, though slightly altered, image. While silkscreening can be used with colors or black and white, Warhol usually used colors to express ideas. He also used negative space, as seen in his Electric Chair painting, to portray tragic and controversial concepts. Some paintings were done using the entire space of the paper, usually pieces having to do with the famous or some type of confusion or chaos, but others only had one image off the side of the paper. These paintings mostly expressed distressing concepts, in which all of the concentration must be on that one image.
I chose three different paintings by Andy Warhol, all expressing slightly, if not drastically, different ideas about fame, money, tragedy, and more. The three pieces are called Mick Jagger, Jackie O, and the Dollar Sign. I chose these three pieces because they express different ideas and styles of his work. The Mick Jagger piece is made up by four different photographs of Mick Jagger, fit into a two by two rectangle. Colored and black diagonal rectangles cover certain parts of the pictures, and black lines outline parts of his face and other sections of the picture.
The first picture (counting clockwise from the top left) is a face-on shot portraying his beauty and appeal to the public. It might represent the fame and media attention given to celebrities. The second painting is a profile picture of Mick Jagger and it is mostly covered up by dark shapes over the face. The visible part of his face is slightly distorted.
This photo might represent the drugs and unseen part of fame. The third photo is a profile of Mick Jagger with his head tilted upwards. His lips are outlined by lines. I think this painting might represent the sex part of the sex, drugs, and rock and roll that fascinated Warhol so much. The forth painting shows a rather surprised Mick Jagger, with different colors plastered over his face and only one eye showing without any sort of distraction. This last painting must represent the confusion, the illusion, and the media s often false representation of someone of status.
Jackie O. Kennedy, the wife of the sixties president John F. Kennedy, was photographed often during her time as first lady. Though she represented style and composure, she also was the face of tragic occurrence.
When her husband was assassinated in the early 1960 s, the media wanted her picture more than ever. The series of three pictures, lined up horizontally, portray the tragic and unfortunate happenings of the time. Unlike many other paintings by Warhol, this one has a very distinct image that is not obstructed or distorted by lines, paint, or other materials. The images are based on a famous media photograph that was shown throughout the world. This painting can be seen as a documentary news piece that reflects the American political and social history. The blue watercolor paints washed over the images represent the dismal times and feelings of Jackie, as well as those feelings of the American public.
This print has a graininess effect said by Warhol to show the hint of tragedy covering Jackie O... The Dollar Bill painting uses paint, pastels, charcoal, and more to put across the idea of money. There are two levels of three dollar signs, all elaborately painted but also semi-tacky. The symbols of money are great in size considered to the size of the entire painting and color is used abundantly.
Not just the dollar signs represent value to Warhol, but also the fact that it is a painting. An artist s prestige and a piece s reputation, Warhol considered, was based solely on the dollar value it was given. Warhol linked art to consumerism with this painting as he blatantly portrays that, to the American people, art is judged by its financial value, not by the personal taste of the individual. I really like the unique style of Andy Warhol and the fact that he produced pieces that were controversial to the ideas of his time. His use of colors and different materials is very inspirational to me and I now hope to make some pieces that include such a wide variety of materials, textures, ideas, and more. His pieces are so interesting to me because, even today, the world of Hollywood is produced by the photographers and the journalists.
I love that he can express the different happenings, as in the Mick Jagger painting, without really making a full judgement of thier value. Many of his celebrity paintings, including Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger, John F. Kennedy and his wife, and other political or social figures, add color and shapes but do not condone or glorify a person to an extreme. His work with other images, such as the Gun and the Electric Chair paintings, do express his judgments on violence and tragedy. He used his art to make people think about the many happenings of that time period that they might not have otherwise given thought to.