Andy Warhol was an American original and a principal figure in the visual medium that came to be known as pop art. Warhol’s works tread around the correlation between “artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement” that emerged from the 1960s. Following a thriving career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous and at times a controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his city of origin, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, houses a comprehensive and permanent collection of art works as well as archival records of the man. It carries the distinction of being the largest museum paying homage to a single artist in the United States.
Warhol’s art included many mediums such as photography, painting, hand drawing, printmaking, silk screening, sculpture, music and film. He was also one of the first in computer-generated art using early Amiga computers two years before he passed away. Warhol also created Interview Magazine and wrote numerous books. He likewise trailblazed as an openly gay man long before the gay liberation movement was accepted. The Factory, his studio, was a celebrated gathering place where Hollywood celebrities, intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, wealthy patrons, and Bohemian street people converged.
Andy Warhol Polaroids now viewable at americansuburbx.com provide some rare insight into the artist who dabbled a lot with his camera. The Polaroids divulge an important part of Warhol’s creative process.
Even though his Polaroids were used as aids and springboards for painting portraits, today they stand separately as distinct and separate works of the pop art master. Warhol was notable for using a camera for his printmaking and painting.
It is interesting to see some huge names of the time such as a fresh-faced Farah Fawcett, a youthful Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali in his prime and an almost boyish looking Governor Jerry Brown, all submit themselves to the creative genius’ process. It is a reminder of the giant shadow Warhol casts on popular art as well as the extent of his influence during his lifetime, and beyond.