Andy Warhol and the factory
Andy Warhol is the artist and designer known by many as the founder and inventor of the ‘pop art’ which is one of the most influensial geonrares of art in our society. He came from a poor tsieck Slovacian family who were imigrants living in America. He had a condition growing up that effected his skin and hair, He was home schooled by his mother because of this where she encouraged his creative skills by baying him colouring books and materials to create collagues. Despite this, Andy Warhol always described his childhood as the worst time of his life and didn’t claim many fond memories of this particullar time. His mother used to make him soup out of water and tomato ketchup which we believe to be his inspiration for the contemporary drawing of tinned soups as it was an everyday object which everyone was familiar with despite their social status. Having grown up in a poor family himself he was mesmerised with the celebrity driven world and was anxious to be a part of the glamarous world. In his teens he won a place in an art school in the city where he arrived with only a small suit case with a few samples of his art work. He struggled living in New York with no salary therefore traded a lot of his drawings for pastrys. Because of his passion for the celebrity community in which he felt so far away from in his earlier life he spent a lot of time reading magazines and sitting in a local caffe watching famous people who often came e.g. Madonna and Marilyn Monroe who he watched whilst drawing in a very playful and delicate manner. The manager of the caffe took notice of Andy’s talent and hung up some of his work. He very much liked his shoe images and encouraged him to do more of these. Andy had a very good eye for colour as he only used vibrant and bold colours which is shown in his piece ‘Marilyn’ which is various prints of Marilyn Monroe’s face copied in different mixes and combinations of colour. He liked to get the public to not only see an image but was anxious to get us to think about what the colour represented - the many faces of marilyn and the different masks the media showed of her. Andy Warhol got people to think about the woman behind this mask and to think about how her unhappyness caused her death. Only recently one of his Marilyn Monroe paintings was sold for over $25 million which is the highest ever price for a contemporary painting. Many art critics believes his bright use of colour was because of his poor eye sight which drew his eyes towards bright and vibrant colours. Another one of his famous work was of a coke bottle. He saw simply a bottle of coke as a piece of art as well as other household objects e.g. Corn flakes boxes.What drew him to draw items such as a coke bottle was that he liked the idea that anyone could drink from any class and it would taste the same to everyone. Also because he spent all his childhood in his mothers kitchen, these items had always been around him as inspiration. He had a very mecanical technique when drawing and used only a few lines which suggested a very accurate but almost cartoon like image.
As Andy began to gain publisity for his art he decided that he wanted to be a star on a bigger scale therefore completely changed his image and kept this image through out his life. His mannerisms became very layed back and cool which made him almost impossible to understand and to gain information about his art work. Rather the mystery about him inkept with his art work and this was exacly how he wanted the public to see him. Many said “Andy’s biggest art is himself”. “The Factory” was the name Andy Warhol gave for his New York studio which moved to three different locations between 1962 and 1984. Despite Andy’s wealth at this time with some of his art work selling for millions of dollars, the rent for his studio was only about $100 a year as they were old untouched buildings on the verge of being torn down. At this time he began to venture in new things like print making and film making. He was inspired by people and believed that with the right publisity anyone could be a star. He had a very unique style of filming where he would get people to sit down in front of the camera for periods of time to see how they would react, this showed people’s mannerisms in an uncomfartable sittuation, this was very interesting to him. He also did some film work of people sleeping as he saw it as something peaceful to watch. ‘The factory’ was also a hangout place for people where they sat listening to the the rock and roll music which began in this era. Not many people understood what happened in the factory which was a part of Andy Warhol’s mystery. Today there is the Warhol Meusium located in New York where there are 7 floors dedicated tonhis work.