Andy Warhol – 8 Interesting Facts

During his time, Andy Warhol was the highest paid and most prolific commercial artist in New York. He was a leader of the Pop art movement which blurred the line between “high” and “low” forms of art. His famous works remain relevant in America’s (and the world’s) ever growing consumer culture. Behind the iconic paintings, here are the following facts:

1. Warhol’s childhood illness introduced him to art and pop culture.

  • When he was eight, he was bedridden due to a nerve disease called chorea. He spent his time absorbed in radio and film, learning of celebrity news and current events.
  • During recovery, his mother, an artist and embroiderer, gave him drawing lessons. Andy went to an art college using whatever money his father left after his passing.

2. Warhol found beauty in familiar consumer goods.

  • One of his iconic works is his “Campbell’s Soup Cans” series. He ate the soup for lunch every day for 20 years.
  • Warhol also created a series featuring Coca-Cola. He considered it a product that equalized humans in society. A poor and rich man’s Coke are the same.

3. He admired Marcel Duchamp’s philosophy of mass-produced art.

  • Warhol wished to paint liked a machine, and create art separate from his effort and emotion. He traced projected images and reproduced them with silkscreens to create a mass-produced look.
  • Warhol called his studio The Factory. He hired many assistants to further separate himself from his art.

4. He was one of the first artists to exhibit film.

  • Warhol created around 650 experimental films, all lengthy and plotless. Many featured intimate yet universal themes such as sleep, kissing, and sex.
  • Other films featured the mundane such as eating. Warhol shot a film of himself eating a burger from Burger King.

5. Warhol’s signature look hid his physical flaws.

  • To cover his bald head, he wore wigs ranging from gray to silver.
  • To train his lazy eyes, he wore opaque glasses with pinholes to look through.

6. He was almost killed by radical feminist Valerie Solanas.

  • She shot Warhol in the torso after he rejected a script she had written.
  • Warhol had several surgeries and needed to wear a surgical corset for the rest of his life.

7. He was a devout Byzantine Catholic.

  • Warhol volunteered at homeless shelters and attended Mass religiously.
  • He was gay, but claimed to be a virgin up to his death at age 58.

8. Warhol had a Permanent Smell Collection.

  • He wished to document and trigger memories by using scents as time capsules. He changed his perfume every three months.
  • During Warhol’s burial, a friend tossed a bottle of Estée Lauder Beautiful into his grave.

Andy Warhol’s play on mainstream imagery made him one of the most pivotal artists of the 20th century. His embrace of popular culture immortalized him as a cultural icon in his own right. What do you think about Warhol’s personality? Which of his artworks is you favorite? Let us know in the comments section!

For any art student or emerging artist, learning about the lives of great masters from the past could be quite exciting. Their life stories show us different paths to success. While we could simply romanticize their fame and fortune, it’s important to understand that becoming a great artist takes some time and investment. For some, finding the right school or mentor is key, and for others, finding the right learning resource is more than enough.

Luckily, there are now plenty of tutorials online to learn important skills like drawing and painting. But sometimes, these tutorials could be quite disorganized and it becomes frustrating when the entire process is not revealed. There are only a few tried and tested courses out there that really takes students from beginner, intermediate, to advanced levels. One great resource that comes highly recommended is artist Nolan Clark’s Online Art Lessons. He offers free courses that are easy to follow, and if you’re serious about improving your art skills and becoming more confident in building your own art style, there’s also a more detailed members’ section that offers access to valuable features.

Apart from reading through the step-by-step process, the unlimited access provides hundred of videos for students to choose from. Practical theories are explained, the videos show in-depth techniques and students could follow along with the tutor easily. The best part about Online Art Lessons is that students could even receive feedback from tutors and peers after the work is completed. Compared to more traditional art schools that take a lot of time and money, this learn-at-your-own-pace system is something that offers incredible value if you are really passionate about succeeding as a creative. If you’re interested in learning how to create pop art, there’s even a lesson for it here. Definitely worth the try!

To learn more about other inspiring artists, check out their interesting facts here.

Bonus Video – Top 10 Artworks by Andy Warhol