A worldly and eccentric publicist, Andy Warhol has left his mark on contemporary art. His silkscreens of film stars have been seen around the world. A leading figure of Pop Art, he understood, before many others, the importance of the image in consumer society. Andy Warhol, whose real name was Andrew Warhola, was born in Pittsburgh on 6 August 1928. The son of Czech emigrants, he grew up in a poor environment. After losing his father at the age of 14, he graduated from high school. He then continued his studies at the Carnergie Institute of Technology from 1945 to 1948. It was there that he discovered advertising. In 1949, he moved to New York, a city that would greatly inspire him, and launched his career as an advertising designer. He worked for magazines such as Glamour, Vogue, The New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar. It was at this time that he began to make a name for himself, and decided to shorten his name from Andrew Warhola to Andy Warhol.
Bubbling with creative ideas, Andy Warhol donned his legendary platinum wig and began painting, starting with paintings of Popeye and Dick Tracy in 1960. But he quickly abandoned this comic book series when he discovered at the famous Leo Castelli gallery exhibition that Roy Lichtenstein had preceded him in this direction. Warhol then chose to reproduce consumer products in silkscreen. He made Campbell's soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles the stars of his paintings. In July 1962, he exhibited 32 Campbell's Soup cans in a New York gallery. In these paintings he stigmatised American consumer society and the standardisation of products. His works quickly met with great success, and he participated in the very first Pop Art exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery.
In 1962, Andy Warhol revisited pictures of stars, such as the now famous series of silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe. His technique was to take black and white photographs, colour them in and then reproduce them in silkscreen. Warhol became the king of Pop Art and reigned over the New York underground. He produced the same paintings using the same process for the stars Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando. In 1963, he recruited a battalion of assistants to whom he delegated the mass production of his creations. These practices led to a revolution in the art world.

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