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10 things you might not know about Andy Warhol

Image: AP Photo

One could argue that Andy Warhol is one of the most famous artists of all time. There likely isn't a person in America who isn't familiar with Marilyn Diptych or Campbell's Soup Cans, or the cover he designed for The Velvet Underground & Nico's self-titled record.

A pioneer in the pop-art movement, Warhol effectively combined the art world with celebrity culture and advertising, and dabbled in just about every medium you can imagine. Painting? Check. Sculpting? Check. Film? Check. Producing and managing musicians? Check. Founding Interview magazine? Yep. Guest-starring on The Love Boat? Sure, why not?

Warhol was a man of many talents. Here are some fun facts about the pop culture icon.


He was born Andrew Warhola

Knocking that A off sounds a whole lot snapper.

Image: Wikipedia


He got his start in advertising

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Warhol was able to get his audiences to really think about Campbell’s Soup. He studied commercial art at Carnegie Mellon University and moved to New York to start magazine illustration and advertising.  Before going all in on the art world, Warhol worked for magazines. His first commission was to draw shoes for Glamour magazine, and he even illustrated a cookbook when he still worked a 9-5 gig!

Image: Etsy


You can visit The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh

The seven-floor, 88,000-square foot museum hosts 17 galleries, 900 paintings, 2,000 paper works, 1,000 prints, 77 sculptures, 4,000 photos, and over 4,000 films and videotapes It is the largest museum in North America dedicated to a single artist.

Image: WikiCommons


The Factory had three locations

Over two decades, the infamous Factory didn’t stay in one place. The original location, which went on to be known as “The Silver Factory” was on East 47th Street. This location was the most famous, covered completely in tin foil and silver paint, and referenced in the Lou Reed song, “Walk on the Wild Side.”

Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/The Weinstein Company


In the ‘60s, there was no cooler spot than The Factory

While debauchery ran rampant in The Factory, that didn’t stop anyone from wanting to hang out there. Artists, musicians, bohemians and drag queens spent time at the Factory and plenty of celebrities were regulars. From writers like William S. Burroughs and Truman Capote, designers like Betsey Johnson and Halston, artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, musicians like David Bowie, Debbie Harry and of course, The Velvet Underground and Nico, everyone wanted to get in.

Image: Flickr


Warhol was a hypochondriac

When he was a young child, he was diagnosed with Sydenham's chorea, a nervous system disorder. While fighting it, he had to miss a lot of school and claimed that this time, feeling like an outcast, played a huge part in his personality later in life. Though he overcame the disease, he had a lasting fear of doctors and hospitals. He also claimed that he had a premonition that he would die in a hospital. He did, but not until 1987, when he died of heart attack after having gallbladder surgery.

Image: WikiCommons


He was shot in 1968

In June 1968, Valerie Solanas, a separatist feminist writer who had spent time in the Factory, attempted to assassinate Warhol. Later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, she was convinced that Warhol was conspiring to steal her work. She shot Warhol, as well as an art critic, and attempted to shoot Warhol’s manager. She later turned herself in to the police and got psychiatric help. Warhol nearly died and sustained complications of the shooting for the rest of his life. 

Image: Wikipedia


He coined the term “15 minutes of fame”

In 1968, Warhol had an art exhibition at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. In the program for the exhibit, there was a quote from Warhol that read, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

Image: AP Photo


'Eight Elvises' is one of the most valuable works in the art world

In 2008, the 1963 silkscreen painting sold was sold by Annibale Berlingieri for $100 million.

Image: Art Market Monitor


He guested on 'The Love Boat'

Warhol made an appearance on the third episode of the show's ninth season. While we'd have been excited for the opportunity, Warhol wasn't impressed. According to Victor Bokris' biography, "After episode was aired, he complained to a friend that people in Hollywood were “idiots.” 'They didn’t buy art,' he said. 'They stank.'"

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