Timeless Andy Warhol Portraits

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					Even from his early days in Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol demonstrated unique
artistic talent. He began his successful career in magazine illustration
and advertising, but became better known for his portraits. Andy Warhol
portraits were, and continue to be, in a category of their own. They are
more than mere pictures; they tell a fascinating tale of his personal and
artistic circle, as well as a chronicle of many of the most talented,
best-known and wealthiest public figures of the period. Warhol's
celebrated subjects included tycoons, entertainers, fashion designers and
drag queens. His most famous portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth
Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Liza Minnelli are recognized all
over the world.Technique Unlike traditional portraiture, Warhol relied
exclusively on photographs to capture the image of his subjects. He often
made use of photos from magazines and newspapers and, by employing
photomechanical reproduction techniques, he was able to enlarge and
transfer the image onto a canvas. He then painted patches of color to
enliven the flat surface and to personalize the painting; thus, Andy
Warhol portraits came to life.


  Subjects There was often a personal connection between Warhol and his
subjects. For example, his Campbell's Soup Cans paintings stem from a
childhood memory, a time when his mother often fed him Campbell's Soup.
Other works functioned as a personal statement about art. Warhol painted
dollar signs and dollar bills as a symbolic representation of the
relationship between art and money. For Warhol, the "secret" of art was
based on its undeniable connection to money. These unique pieces
redefined the notion of art as a means of expression to art as a means of
survival.The 1960s After his travels around the world, Warhol began to
devote more energy to painting. He created his Coca-Cola paintings in
1961, and followed with a series of Campbell's Soup Cans in 1962. The
soup cans caused a sensation in the art world and proclaimed Warhol a
celebrity. That same year, he began a long series of celebrity portraits,
including Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor. After
announcing his retirement from painting in 1965 in order to pursue a
career in filmmaking, Warhol took up painting again in 1966, and decided
to expand his activities to include performance art in a traveling
multimedia show.The 1970s Although Warhol was both successful and
scandalous in the 1960s, he became somewhat of an entrepreneur in the
1970s as he devoted much of his time to portraying rich patrons for
commissions. His clients included Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, John
Lennon, Diana Ross, Brigitte Bardot, and Michael Jackson. In 1971, Warhol
co-designed the Grammy-winning cover for The Rolling Stones' album Sticky
Fingers, featuring a close-up photo of the torso of a man wearing blue
jeans with a real working zipper. Subsequently, he received many more
commissions to design music LP covers. The 1980s Warhol re-emerged as a
critical and financial success in the 1980s, partially due to his
affiliation and friendships with a number of prolific younger artists. In
1985, he was selected as one of the Absolut Vodka artists. Several of his
paintings were used in advertisements, bringing his art to a much broader
audience. During this period, all of his works were created with the help
of paid assistants, managers, and friends.Andy Warhol Portraits After
his tragic death in 1987, Warhol's estate was auctioned over a period of
ten days to raise money for his visual arts foundation. Andy Warhol
portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie O. and, of course,
Campbell's Soup Cans, brought portraiture back into mainstream culture as
an important art form.      Jessica Corbett is an modern day artist and
is the proud owner/author of the website Andy Warhol Posters 'n' Pop -
www.popartposters.org.


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