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What Inspired Andy Warhol?

By September 24, 2019 February 9th, 2020 No Comments
Andy Warhol Dollar Sign

It was one of those evenings when I’d asked around ten or fifteen people for suggestions that finally one lady friend of mine asked me the right question: “Well, what do you love most?”. That’s how I started painting money.

In his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, he declared, ‘Money is the MOMENT to me. Money is my MOOD.’ So in 1961 he made his first work depicting one-dollar bill.

Pop artists did images that anybody walking down Broadway could recognize in a split second – comics, picnic tables, men’s trousers, celebrities, shower curtains, refrigerators, Coke bottles – all the great modern things that the Abstract Expressionists tried so hard not to notice at all.

By looking at paintings of tomato soup cans, Brillo boxes, celebrities and dollar signs, you don’t need to guess hard where Andy Warhol searched for inspiration.

His obsession with celebrity images and glitz and glamour started as a child. Often sick and bedridden, he’d spend a whole day cutting out images from celebrity magazines his mother’d brought to him.

Later, at the beginning of 60’s Warhol moved to New York and worked as a commercial artist. Essential part of his creative process was to blast loud music as a way of concentration and keep himself attuned to what’s popular.  

In his memoir, he remembers how he was ‘soaking in’ the vision of neon signs, ad-boards that comprised the American landscape, when he was on a road trip with his fellow experimental film-makers.

The artist was never shy to ask others, straightforwardly, what should he paint. In fact, he considered that asking people is no different than looking for an inspiration from magazines, books or newspapers. 

More than anything, this book is about people that made Andy Warhol’s Pop 60’s: people from New York art scene, people who took part in his movies, the ones that hung out in the famous Factory, celebrities he rubbed shoulders with, friends and competitors, and his muse Edie Sedgwick. With all the stories and anecdotes about them, it reads like a celebrity gossip magazine, making Pop even more relatable to the celebrity-driven age we live in now.