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Rembrandt van Rijn

Andy Warhol, 1928-1987

American Artist.

Often referred to as the “Father of Pop,” Andy Warhol, born Andrew Warhola, had his first show in Los Angeles at the Ferus Gallery in 1962.  After a decade of great success as a commercial illustrator, creating thousands of ads for such publications as Vogue, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, and Glamour magazine, Warhol began his pursuit of a career in the fine arts. 

Growing up in post-depression Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, having working-class immigrant parents of Czechoslovakian decent, Warhol found distraction in the characters of comic books and on the silver screen.  He desperately wanted nothing more than to be an American, participating in the adventures of Little Orphan Annie, Superman, and Dick Tracy.  In fact, many of these personalities became sources for his early work in 1961. 

Warhol’s rags to riches story, the very embodiment of the American dream, was quite reminiscent of the figures that he grew up idolizing.  The simulacra of mass media, which have flooded our consciousness, are the foundation from which Warhol worked.  Warhol reproduced images without reflection or understanding.  All the viewer is left with is an image.  Warhol regarded his subjects as a detached spectator or voyeur.  Significantly ahead of his time, one can only imagine what he would have produced in the age of our callow reality-TV, My Space, You Tube generation. 

 

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