Collocation “pop-art” may seem strange and contradictory. It is just accepted the “high” concept of art is used to be contrasted with the pop-culture – the embodiment of popular and accessible. Pop art proclaimed a new understanding of the art, replacing the sublime everyday. In the center of its attention was a kind of “mass-cultural trash” — advertising, television, illustrations from Newspapers and articles of consumer goods. Everything that was commonly considered “low”, turned to the creators of pop art to be an inspiration. A new artistic world was formed, real and abstract, it became available for the common people’s understanding and at the same time, having the elegant features of elite art.
The term “pop art” appeared in 1956. Lawrence Alloway – critic and a prominent figure of the art market – ?ame up with it. In Europe a new phenomenon was initially dubbed “neorealism”. But this name did not take root in bourgeois society.
Pop artists sought to return to “real life”, to become some kind of reaction of protest against the dominance of abstract expressionism, which has really reached unbelievable proportions in the 50s. Many have seen a way out of the crisis, the possibility of closer contact with the audience, “the longing for objectivity” in pop art. However, artists likely moved away from life – indeed the reality, appearing in advertising and on television, has little in common with the reality of an ordinary person who sees the world not only from the point of view of Commerce and business. Pop art tried to move in that direction, becoming bright and original advertising sign for a man from the street. New to fine art techniques allowed to translate images, seemed to be created not by the hand of the artist but the machine for stamping.
Andy Warhol became the king of pop art, declaring the act of “becoming an artist in rotating machine” by his cherished desire. “The reason I write is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that all I do like the car, is just what I want to do.”
Andy Warhol was born 6 august, 1928 in Pittsburg, Pensilvania, USA, in the family of Slovakian immigrants. During 1945-1949 he was studying at the faculty of arts in Carnegie Institute of Technology. Immediately after finishing his education he decided to go to New York. At first, Andy designs the shop windows, makes cards and posters, then he becomes an artist Illustrator for various magazines, including “Vogue”. The first success he gained were drawings for the Shoe company “I. Miller.” There were the images of shoes, drawn in ink in an eccentric manner, with a specially made blots.
In 1962, Warhol created a sensational series of paintings, which depicted, often in garish colors, cans of Coca-Cola and canned food, including the famous image of cans of tomato soup “Campbell”, which became Andy Warhol’s hallmark. Radical art critics promptly payed attention to them, saying that the works of the young artist skillfully reveal the vulgarity, emptiness and impersonality of the Western culture of mass consumption. Subsequently, Warhol began to create more outrageous works such as the images of the idols of modern society done in an acid manner: Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger. The scandalous reputation of the Warhol contributed to higher prices for works from this series. Nowadays, the market value of Warhol’s paintings often gains tens of millions of dollars. Warhol, above all, strove for strong effects of objects, not to achieve aesthetic perfection. His choice of subjects – Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, race riots and the electric chair – was to demystify global issues, such as glory and death… He also made several films.
In 1963 Andy moved his studio, which later became fashionable gallery, to Manhattan. He called it “Factory”. A brilliant master of self-promotion, Warhol had achieved what was perceived a mystery. “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings, me and my films. there is nothing behind”.
In March 1965, Andy Warhol met his future muse Edie Sedgwick. They were fascinated by each other at first sight. Edie began to spend almost all the time at the “Factory”. Warhol claimed to make Sedgwick a “poor little rich girl” and make her the Queen of the “Factory”. Andy shot Eddie in his infinite films (“Vinyl”, “Kitchen”, “Girls from Chelsea” and others), together they shined in society; during this period, Edie has often described herself as “Mrs. Warhol”. They were together a little more than a year; the uncrowned king and queen of Manhattan, consonant names, equally trimmed bleached hair and the same silvery uniform. Union of rich blonde and the phenomenal Czech intellectuals has become a symbol of pop art. By the way, witnesses have suggested that Warhol and his “Factory” in many ways existed thanks to money of the glorious family of Sedgwick. But anyway, in 1966, Edie Sedgwick left Andy Warhol – and it was not the end of the “Factory”, but the beginning of the end of the Edie.
In fatal for Andy Warhol’s 1968 his first book “A Warhol” was released. It consisted of phone conversations that were recorded on his “Factory”.
June 3, 1968, one of the supporter of Andy Warhol, who worked in the “Factory” -feminist Valerie Solanas, shot the master into the stomach. The wound was very severe, but his life was saved. After this accident he was disabled for another 2 years. This event, oddly enough, gave the artist more legends.
After this incident, Andy Warhol changed his style of life. He was constantly afraid of death, started attending the Church, can say lost his sparkle, and said about himself that “lives and not lives”.
Even before the assassination, began to pay attention to his paintings of such subjects as violent death, as instinctively. In his works, there were images of car accidents, postmortem images of Marilyn Monroe, electric chairs. After recovery he started to create images associated with death even more.