Andy Warhol & the Pop Art of Celebrity

Debbie Harry & Andy Warhol

“In the future, everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” -Andy Warhol

Celebrity & PopArt:

“The growing popularity of television in American homes in the late 1950s and early 1960s fed a culture of celebrity-worship across the United States. Now able to view their favorite actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians from the comfort of their living rooms, the public became captivated by people who represented the American dream of money, glamour, and success.

“Pop artists seized on the culture of celebrity worship, portraying cultural icons and political figures from a range of media. They embraced, and at times slyly critiqued, this media-saturated culture, employing the faces of Hollywood actors, musicians, notorious criminals, politicians—and the tabloid stories surrounding them—as sources of imagery and reflections of the changing culture.” -MOMA

 

Capturing Celebrity:

“Warhol loved to paint portraits of the rich and famous. When most people think of Andy Warhol, they think of his portrait of Marilyn Monroe. Warhol painted Marilyn Monroe’s portrait after Monroe had overdosed on barbiturates and died. Warhol became fascinated by the very idea of figures such Monroe, with a glamorous lifestyle and an almost mythical status as a Hollywood icon, and wanted to portray her as a sex goddess and a consumer item to be mass produced. Warhol also enjoyed the carefree parties and lifestyle of rock stars. He painted ten portraits of Mick Jagger and several portraits of Elvis Presley. It’s surprising to note that Warhol also noticed Canadian celebrities who had never stepped foot in The Factory. In 1984, he painted a portrait of Wayne Gretzky at the peak of his stardom. Although Warhol wasn’t a hockey fan, he admired Gretzky for being one of Canada’s biggest celebrities, noting that that Gretzky is ‘more than a hockey player, he’s an entertainer.” -TheCultureTrip.com

MORE DETAILS:

WATCH: Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film
by PBS
"He was the most American of artists and the most artistic of Americans," one man later said – "so American in fact that he is almost invisible to us." ANDY WARHOL – a riveting and often deeply moving film portrait of the most famous and famously controversial artist of the second half of the twentieth century – is the first to explore the complete spectrum of Warhol's astonishing artistic output, stretching across five decades from the late 1940's to his untimely death in 1987. Combining powerful on-camera interviews and rare still and motion picture footage, it is also the first to put Warhol himself – his humble family background and formative experiences in Pittsburgh, and his crucial apprenticeship as a commercial artist in New York – back into the presentation of his life(more)...."
BOOK: The Andy Warhol Diaries
by Andy Warhol

"Spanning the mid-1970s until just a few days before his death in 1987, THE ANDY WARHOL DIARIES is a compendium of the more than twenty thousand pages of the artist's diary that he dictated daily to Pat Hackett. In it, Warhol gives us the ultimate backstage pass to practically everything that went on in the world-both high and low. He hangs out with "everybody": Jackie O ("thinks she's so grand she doesn't even owe it to the public to have another great marriage to somebody big"), Yoko Ono ("We dialed F-U-C-K-Y-O-U and L-O-V-E-Y-O-U to see what happened, we had so much fun"), and "Princess Marina of, I guess, Greece," along with art-world rock stars Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, and Keith Haring.

"Warhol had something to say about everyone who crossed his path, whether it was Lou Reed or Liberace, Patti Smith or Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra or Michael Jackson. A true cultural artifact, THE ANDY WARHOL DIARIES amounts to a portrait of an artist-and an era-unlike any other.

"This international literary sensation turns the spotlight on one of the most influential and controversial figures in American culture. Filled with shocking observations about the lives, loves, and careers of the rich, famous, and fabulous, Warhol's journal is endlessly fun and fascinating(more)..."