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Describe The Art of Painting: Andy Warhol (Essay Sample)


in this essay, the life and work of an outstanding artist was to be examined. Andy Warhol was selected and examined carefully and exhaustively.

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Andy Warhol
The art of painting has undergone massive evolution in its history, which spans many centuries. In its evolution process, many styles have developed, thus, expanding any contemporary painter’s repertoire notably. Among the many styles that have developed over time, is popular art or simply ‘pop art’, which became widespread in the second half of the 20th century. When this style is under discussion, Andy Warhol emerges as the most illustrious among other pop artists as attested to by the fact that he was nicknamed the ‘Prince of Pop Art’ by the lovers of the style. This essay seeks to examine Andy Warhol and his painting career with a focus on his style, its tenets, and his overall contribution to the art of painting.
Andy Warhol in Perspective
Not all of Warhol’s paintings are stunning, but enough of them drew a lot of attention across a broad audience to the extent of being deemed controversial. From a moral perspective, Warhol’s paintings do not seem to breach any norms, yet they still spurred heated discussions. Therefore, the fact that his paintings were so intriguing to such a wide spectrum of people is of particular interest. In addition, the reason behind his being named the “Prince of pop art” is also of interest in this essay. This interest stems from the fact that the name gives the impression that Warhol was the best among his peers during his time. If so, what attributes did his paintings posses that spurred such a magnitude of interest in his work?
Biographical Overview
Andy Warhol was born in 1928 and was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by his parents who were both Czech emigrants (The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2013). His interest in art manifested while he was young and his mother, being artistic, encouraged it with presents for accomplishing some minor art tasks. Warhol was out of elementary school most of the time due to a chorea attack, which adversely affected his acceptance by other students and consequently his self-esteem. The rejection stemmed from the fact that his skin bore large pink blotches in addition to the uncontrollable shaking he sometimes had to endure before fellow students. Warhol officially started art classes at Carnegie Museum while at Schenley high school and went on to study Art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology where he graduated with a Major in Pictorial Design (The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2013).
As an artist, his career was hardly influenced by other artists, but his work widely influenced others. He discovered a technique he called the “blotted-line technique” while in high school and went on to use it at the dawn of his career. The technique earned him some recognition, but he later abandoned it and started painting on canvas. Warhol was reputed as a successful commercial illustrator where some of the most notable advertisements he painted were shoes for I. Miller and Christmas cards for Tiffany & Company. His shift to painting on canvas led him to discover silk-screening, a technique he used for the rest of his career. This technique served his mass production desires adequately. Warhol’s most remembered painting is that of Campbell’s soup cans which he painted when he was encouraged by a friend to paint something he really loved. Although he also ventured into movie making where a disgruntled actress almost shot him dead, he is mostly remembered as an acclaimed painter of pop art. He died in 1987 aged 58 years, one day after successfully surviving a surgery (The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts).
Warhol’s Style and its development
The nature of Warhol’s paintings pitches him as a spontaneous artist whose dominant theme is quite elusive to pinpoint. His paintings depict a wide range of themes ranging from love-related issues in his Love and In the Bottom of My Garden paintings to moral issues in Late Paintings (Danto 10). His style has been described as being so full of life that the paintings seem to ‘pop’ out of the canvas (Guiles 21). He believed in mass reproduction of his images, probably an embodiment of the mass reproduction of the consumer goods he dwelt on in his entire painting career.
Pop art, which Warhol practiced, emerged first in Great Britain where it was used to criticize the British lifestyle in the 1950s (Watson 36). In the US, it came as a departure from convention so that artists could paint anything that was part of popular culture for instance celebrities and popular consumer goods as can be seen from Warhol’s work. The term ‘pop’ was coined in 1954 by a British art critic Lawrence Alloway to describe an emerging style of art which drew its inspiration from the imagery of popular culture. In Britain, pop art was initiated and propagated by the Independent Group while in the US, the movement behind pop art was simply known as the Pop Art Movement (Watson 19).
While other artists espoused the idea of artistic authenticity and genius, Warhol refuted the idea and mass reproduced his work, which made his studio practice distinct from other artists to the extent of his studio being cal...
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