Iconic American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art ,Andy Warhol was born August 6 1928 and dominated the 1960s.
His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished during that period .
Notably an openly gay man before the gay rights movement he began to receive recognition as an influential and controversial artist in the late 50’s after a few gallery exhibitions .
His New York studio, The Factory, became a well-known gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons. He promoted a collection of personalities known as Warhol superstars, and is credited with coining the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame.”
In 1968 he was part of an assassination attempt by radical feminist and paranoid schizophrenic Valerie Solanas after she believed he had purposely stolen her work and had “too much control ” over her life.
“Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there—I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television—you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.”
He survived the attempt and died in the 80s of pneumonia.