Andy Warhol

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Hailed as the founding father of the Pop Art movement in the late 1950's and early 1960's, Andy Warhol, through his endeavors, brought forward society's obsession with mass culture and allowed it to become the subject of his art. He produced works that defied and challenged the popular notion of what art should be by disputing the "traditional conventions pertaining to the uniqueness, authenticity, and authorship" of art (Faerna 28). However, it is an injustice to say that Warhol's goals primarily included the desire to create such a ground-breaking and salient style of American art or to entertain the public by making his own artistic contributions. Rather, Andy Warhol's interests were more entwined in his own self-interest and greed. Although a fraction of Andy Warhol's inspiration resided in his ambition to create a "unique" and exotic style of American art, his main motivation was purely materialistic and involved acquiring large sums of money and publicity to fuel his obsession with wealth and fame. Andy Warhol's experiences throughout his difficult and poverty-stricken early life are one among many possible explanations for Warhol's addiction to materialism later on in his life. Born on August 6, 1928 into the slums of Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol was the fourth child of working-class Slovakian immigrant parents who barely spoke English. As a child, Warhol developed chorea, an illness which causes abnormal involuntary movements. Consequently, this contributed to his isolation as a child as he was often bed-ridden and thus became an outcast at school (Gale American Decades). During his early years, he also developed a fascination for fame and recognition as he would constantly amass pictures of celebrities and movie sta... ... middle of paper ... ...sted in the chemical processes that went into forming Oxidation Painting; rather, he was more concerned with converting these bodily fluids into something precious and valuable. Oxidation Painting was an attempt by Warhol to project his persona into the media in order to garner publicity and attention. Furthermore, Oxidation Painting remains as Warhol’s most economically valuable work. Now, twenty-three years after Warhol’s death, his face and art are on T-shirts, iPods, blue jeans, sunglasses, Christmas cards, handbags, skateboards and wallpaper. His reputation and popularity are both endless and his works of art continue to fetch enormous sums of money. Even with his death, Warhol’s name continues to be met with both publicity and infamy. Ultimately, Andy Warhol’s legacy lies with his outlandish and exotic style of art and his lust for materialism and wealth.

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