Home Art-1 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Andy Warhol

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Andy Warhol

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By Mary Jones

  1. Andy Warhol, born to immigrant parents from Central Europe in 1928, grew up in a modest Pittsburgh apartment with his two older brothers. His father, Andrej, worked as a construction worker and coal miner but tragically passed away from tuberculosis peritonitis when Warhol was just 13.

 

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  2. Warhol’s upbringing in a devout Byzantine Catholic family shaped his religious beliefs. He quietly practiced his faith throughout his life, attending Mass in Manhattan’s Upper East Side church almost daily, wearing a crucifix necklace, and volunteering at a church-run soup kitchen. Some of his artworks, like “The Last Supper” series, reflected his religious devotion. He rests in a Catholic cemetery in Pennsylvania.
  3. Not only an artist but a manager too, Warhol organized events like “The Exploding Plastic Inevitable” in the late 1960s, merging art, music, and performance. He showcased the Velvet Underground and encouraged their collaboration with Nico, one of his “superstars.” Warhol even co-managed the band, produced their self-titled album, and designed its famous banana album cover.
  4. Among his friends and collaborators at the Factory, Warhol was affectionately known as “Drella,” a blend of Dracula and Cinderella. This nickname captured his complex, often insincere personality. Members of the Velvet Underground even released an album called “Songs For Drella” in his memory.
  5. In 1977, Warhol embarked on an abstract art venture called “The Oxidations.” Using urine to oxidize copper paint, he created unique colors and textures. His friends contributed to the process, resulting in varying shades of green, brown, and yellow. One painting from this series sold for nearly $2 million in 2008.
  6. Before gaining fame as a pop artist, Warhol worked as a freelance commercial artist for companies like Harper’s Bazaar and RCA Records. He designed album artwork for renowned musicians like the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin. His provocative cover for the Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers” album earned a Grammy Award nomination.
  7. Facing early balding in his 20s, Warhol concealed his hair loss with a collection of silver wigs, enhancing his bohemian image. His iconic “Fright Wig” self-portraits from 1986 featured his hair sticking straight up, one of which sold for over $32 million in 2010.
  8. Warhol shared a close bond with his mother, Julia Warhola, until her death in 1972. They lived and worked together in New York City for nearly two decades. Julia even contributed calligraphy and lettering to Warhol’s projects, and her drawings are displayed at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
  9. Truman Capote, whom Warhol admired, initially referred to the artist as a “hopeless, born loser.” Their relationship had its ups and downs, moving from initial hostility to occasional lunches and collaborations on Interview magazine. Warhol once criticized Capote’s work and noted a change in his demeanor over the years.
  10. In a shocking turn of events, radical feminist Valerie Solanas shot Warhol in 1968, along with art critic Mario Amaya, at the Factory. Warhol fought for his life, spending two months in the hospital. Solanas, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was upset over Warhol’s perceived control in her life. Warhol passed away in 1987 from a heart attack, possibly related to complications from the gunshot wound.

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