Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburg, PA on August 6, 1928. He attended Carnegie Institute of Technology—now Carnegie Mellon University—earning a BFA in Pictorial Design with the goal of becoming a commercial illustrator. At this time, he worked in the display department at Horne’s department store.
Soon after graduating, Warhol moved to New York City to pursue a career as a commercial artist. He soon became one of the most successful illustrators of the 1950s, recognized for his unique, whimsical style of drawing that belied its frequent sources: traced photographs and imagery, and often employed the handwriting of his mother, who lived with her son in New York for nearly twenty years.
In the late 1960s, Warhol began to devote more energy to painting. His first Pop paintings came to fruition in 1961, and the following year marked the beginning of Warhol’s celebrity. He debuted his famous Campbell’s Soup Can series, which caused sensation in the art world, and shortly after began a large sequence of movie star portraits. Warhol’s series “death and disaster” paintings also began at this time.
Wahol’s first exhibition of sculptures was held in 1964 and included hundreds of replicas of large supermarket product boxes, including his iconic Brillo Boxes. It was at this time that his new studio, know as “The Factory,” opened and quickly became “the place to be in New York.”
Warhol was a prolific artist, producing numerous works throughout the 1970s and 1980s. His painting, prints, photographs, and drawings from this period includes Mao, Skulls, Hammer and Sickles, Shadows, Guns, Knives, Crosses, Dollar Signs, Zeitgeist and Camouflage. Warhol’d final two exhibitions were his series of Last Supper paintings, shown in Milan and his Sewn Photos, exhibited in New York. Both shows opened in January 1987, one month before his death.