Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol is known primarily as a major visual artist and a significant filmmaker. He was not a musician, and probably knew little about the technological processes by which music is recorded. He nonetheless made notable contributions to rock history as a producer and manager of the Velvet Underground. He managed the Velvets until about the summer of 1967, and was credited as producer of the bulk of their classic first album (self-titled, but known as “The Banana Album”), which was largely made before they got a record deal. As is sometimes the case with good production, his contribution probably consisted of not interfering with the music and letting the band be themselves. Warhol also did artwork for several rock album covers including the zippered pants on the sleeve of the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers.

Born Andrew Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987), Warhol was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist.

Warhol’s art used many types of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death. He founded Interview magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties.

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame”. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)”. A 2009 article in The Economist described Warhol as the “bellwether of the art market”. Warhol’s works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

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