Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on August 6, 1928. His birth name was Andrew Warhola. When he was a child he was often sick. At the age of 8 he suffered from a liver disease that caused his limbs to sometimes spasm. As a result of this disease, Andy spent a lot of time in bed. During this time his mother, who was an artist, taught him how to draw. So, Andy often drew to pass the time.
When Andy graduated from high school, he went to Carnegie Mellon University to study art. In 1959, after he graduated from college, Andy moved to New York City to make a name for himself as an artist. In New York, he began illustrating for magazines and creating advertisements becoming a very successful commercial artist. On one of his first jobs, his name in the credits was misspelled "Warhol" instead of "Warhola". He liked the name so he became Andy Warhol from that day forward.
During the 1960's, Warhol began creating the paintings he is best known for today. He came up with the concept of using mass-produced commercial goods in his art. He called it Pop Art. He would use commercial images and reproduce them over and over. An early example of this was a series of Campbell's Soup
cans. In one of these paintings, Warhol had two hundred Campbell's Soup cans repeated over and over! He painted large pictures of Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell's Soup cans, and dollar bills. He also painted pictures of celebrities.
Because he was creating pictures of mass-produced items, Warhol thought it would be fitting to mass produce his artwork. He did this by creating screen prints rather than painting each picture separately. This allowed him to make many copies of each painting, but each copy was an original Warhol painting. He often used silkscreen and lithography to create his pictures.
After becoming quite famous, Andy Warhol opened a new studio called "The Factory" where he created his artwork, as well as, hosted large parties attended by wealthy and famous people. Andy was a different kind of artist. While many artists focused entirely on their art with no interest in personal fame
or fortune, Andy wanted to be rich and famous. Some artists accused him of making art in order to make money. He was critized for turning art into a business. Many people did not like the idea that he was just making copies of the same picture to sell and make money. However, many of the images he created have become iconic in American culture. His paintings have grown in value as well. One of his portraits called Eight Elvises sold for $100 million in 2008.
Despite having made a lot of money off of his art, Andy can also be credited with bringing art to the masses. He would mass produce prints of his art so it was affordable to everyone.
Andy Warhol died in New York in 1987 at the age of 59.