From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "Warhol produced both comic and serious works; his subject could be a soup can or an electric chair. Warhol used the same techniques—silkscreens, reproduced serially, and often painted with bright colors—whether he painted celebrities, everyday objects, or images of suicide, car crashes, and disasters (as part of a 1962-1963 series called "Death and Disaster"). The "Death and Disaster" paintings (such as "Red Car Crash", "Purple Jumping Man", "Orange Disaster") transform personal tragedies into public spectacles, and signal the use of images of disaster in the then evolving media." --S. Stein
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 — February 22, 1987) was an American artist, a central figure in the movement known as Pop Art. After a sucessful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter, an avant-garde filmmaker, a record producer, an author and a public figure known for his presence in wildly diverse social circles that included bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy aristocrats.
A controversial figure during his lifetime (his work was often derided by critics as a hoax or "put-on"), Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books and documentary films since his death in 1987. He is generally acknowledged as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.
He founded the magazine Interview.
In third grade, Warhol came down with St. Vitus' dance, an affliction of the nervous system causing involuntary movements which is believed to be a complication of scarlet fever. This disease led to a blotchiness in pigmentation of his skin and, as a child, he became somewhat of a hypochondriac, developing a fear of hospitals and medical doctors. Because he was at times bed-ridden as a child, he became an outcast among his school-mates and bonded with his mother very strongly (Guiles, 1989). When in bed he used to draw, listen to the radio and collect pictures of movie stars around his bed. Looking back later, Warhol described the period of his sickness as very important in the development of his personality and in the forming of his skill-set and preferences.