Andy Warhol

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Andy Warhol "Paintings are too hard. The things I want to show are mechanical. Machines have less problems. I'd like to be a machine, wouldn't you?" Andy Warhol, 1963 Warhol was a modest artist and at time could be annoyingly blasé towards his art. With a cheeky nature, Warhol is considered to be the most influential American artist of the second half of the 20th century. He has a signature style which he uses repeatedly in artworks, by using commercial silk-screening techniques to create identical, mass produced images on canvas then varying the color and tone to make each edition look different. Warhol was fascinated by Hollywood, fashion and style. He transferred this interest to his artwork, claiming not to see the difference between a museum and a department store. Blurring the distinction between art and life, he believed art could be fashion, decoration, and politics. Like his contemporaries Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, he borrowed images from popular culture for his artwork. He was also influenced by Marcel Duchamp, who took ordinary objects and displayed them as "readymade" works of art. His works also radically challenged high modernist ideas associated with the concept of originality and the role of the artist as an individual. Through this and through his obsession with money, fame, commercialism and mass culture he challenged high art, blurring the distinction between it and popular culture. He first applied his silk-screen techniques as a commercial artist in the 1950’s when a 5th avenue department store displayed his comic book superhero images. His initial entrance into Pop Art was in the early 60’s with his Coca-Cola Bottles and then sculpture of the brillo boxes which he replicated onto plywood boxes. By the completion of these 2 artworks one would establish that Warhol was challenging traditional notions of art by mechanically repeating a single image, mimicking the manufacturing industry and parodying mass consumption. Warhol’s subject matter went from one extreme to the other, one being a series titled: ‘Jews of the 20th century’, which is guess was Andy recognizing a repressed group and creating completely unassuming art about them. The other extreme being a series titled ‘Cowboys and Indians’ which yet again displays Andy’s childlike and innocent themes

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