.. money. He also got the reputation as a workaholic. Pearlstine said that Andy was “a workaholic who sat at a table and worked all day and often late at night. He would do several versions of each assignment, showing all art dealers loved him for that.” (Bekris, 53) These were the golden years for art designers and magazine publishers, which attracted some of the most desirable graphic designers.
In 1963 Andy moved into a flat at 231 East 47th street. (Bekris, 141) This location would later be known as the “Factory”. Andy did most of his recognized art here. He was said to be like a machine. A quote from the artist. “The reason Im painting this very way is because I want to be a machine.” (Cameo, 8) The Factory had a large freight elevator that took you to the loft.
The doors opened up to a 140-sq./ft room with a couple of toilets in the back and a payphone buy the door. The Factory soon became the “in crowd hang out”. Its tripy lighting and tin foil walls attracted every type of person. The Factory was now a cultural Mecca, part film studio, and part Salvation Army for the struggling artists. The majority of the crowd was called the “amphetamine rapture group” but better known as the “mole people” because they lived in the underworld of the city and only came out at night. (Cameo, 8) Andy continued to make money and turning out electric chair prints as part of the death-and-disaster series. As you the viewer can tell from a variety of Andys paintings, he had an erotic side to him.
Andy has never come entirely out with the truth but some interesting facts have been found. Andy first discovered he had a homosexual taste when he was a student at Carnegie Tech. Andy also had an off and on relationship with a friend whom he met in the autumn of 1945. (Shanes, 11) Most of Andys Advertisements and window displays incorporated shoes. The majority of the time he was asked to redo them because they came across as being too sexual. He was also known to have a slight foot fetish.
Boyfriends of Andy have admitted that Andy enjoyed licking their shoes while making love. He also published a quite graphic series called “Drawings for a boy book” (Shanes, 11) Although Andy never “came out” he was known to be a part of the “lavender” social world, which was an underground social world with gays and transvestites. Andy wanted to bring avant grade artists and the public together. The common people are the ones intended for Andys art. In 1958 Andy made the transition to this idea from commercial artist to “Fine Artist”.
(Shanes, 15) This was after a similar artists movement of John Rauschenburg. After his work with I Miller Shoes in the 1960s, which was a large shoe manufacturer, his subjects started to move to common day objects. In 1961 Andy started to play with the idea of mass production. (Cameo, 8) He chose common day items such as Campbell soup cans, money, Coca-Cola, and newspaper headlines. He also did work on famous people such as Marilyn Manroe and Jackie Onasis.
In starting pop art Andy called upon everything he had learned from advertising. Also from TV where the dollar sign and the gun were predominate symbols, where the subliminal message was sexual desire without gratification, and were the immediate aim was to shock. Andy chose to paint a series of big black-and-white pictures of what artists were supposed to hate most. The look from the backs of cheep magazines. The simplest crummiest ads for jobs, TV, wigs, and canned food, Andy made into art. Andys transition is only best explained visually. In his early works with portraits such as “Ladies and Gentleman” 1917 (1) and “Truman Capote”1979 (2) they show how Andy uses vibrant colors to emphasize specific features.
In his “Untitled” (Hernia) 1960-62 (3) painting it shows his work with common day ads and simplicity. This print almost looks like it came from a textbook. “Front and Back of Dollar bills” (4) experiments with the use of silk screen and mass production. This painting is quite striking because when you think about it money might just be the most mass-produced object in the world. Andy also had a tendency to paint unordinary things like his “cow” (5) painting.
He stayed within his style of color but the cow is neither a famous portrait nor a mass-produced object. After the tragic suicide of Marilyn Monroe in 1962 Andy became somewhat obsessed with her beauty. (Bekris, 113) He would use pictures of her lips and produce them hundreds of times using bright sexy colors. He always focused on her most sexual features such as he hair, eyes, and lips. “Marilyn Monroe Lips” 1962 (6) and “Marilyn”.
Andy had another artistic style to him, it was one that came from his childhood. Being raised in poverty and being exposed to such horrific sights contributed to his next “Movement” of work. Andy was curious in the acts of God whether it is from Mother Nature to killings or atomic bombs. Andy would make reproductions of all these incidents. It wasnt until Henry Geldchler shoed Andy a more productive direction. In June of 1962 Geldchler suggested that Andy start looking at the “dark side of American culture” in a more artistic way.
(Bekris 126) Andy new he had to come up with a new idea that would shock his audience as much as the soup cans and dollar bills had. Andy began doing paintings such as “car crash” 1963 (7) and “electric chair” (8). These images were extremely powerful. You were not just looking at an image in the newsprint you were looking at an image that was twice as large as you were and repeated ten times. Also he always chose a color to tint these images in. The color gives a mysterious side to it, which makes you want to know the rest of the story.
The “Death-and-disaster” series became recognized as some of his best works, but at the same time many of his supporters found the images unacceptable. None of his supporters wanted to hang a picture of a man mangled in his car over their fireplace. The prints did do extremely well but only over seas in Europe and Germany. Some other famous prints are, “Sixteen Jacques” 1964 “Lavender Disaster” 1963(9) and “Sucide”1963 (10). “Oxidation Painting” 1978 (11) is in the death-and-disaster series but has a different twist to it. It is two large sheets of copper that had been treated with patina.
While wet they were urinated on showing the given effect. Along with his artistic style his physical appearance began to change. He began wearing a silver blond wig that fit on his head haphazardly. (Bekris, 99) He even went as far as to change his speech and mannerisms. For the next several years Andy continued with his death and disaster series. He was now a world-renowned artist and had private shows throughout the world. In 1986, Andy flew to Milan for the opening of his last show.
During the last two days in Milan Andy did not leave the hotel. “He was in much pain” recalled Daniel Morear. “He was in bed” which was quite unusual for Andy to be in bed let alone for two days. At the end of 1986 his gallstones had become so enlarged that they had become life threatening. Andy refused to go to a hospital because of his great fear of them. In the first week of February his illness stopped him dead in his tracks.
For the first time in his life Andy abandoned his friends in the middle of a night out on the town to go home and spend the evening in his bed. A sonogram taken by Dr. Cox showed the gallbladder to be severely infected, inflamed, and filled with fluid. The next day Andy was scheduled to be admitted into New York Hospital. The operation was supposed to take place on Saturday and have Andy home by late Sunday.
Saturday morning Andy locked all his valuables in his safe and headed to the hospital. He had also made it very clear that no one, not even his mother should know he was going to the hospital. When he was admitted they put him under the name of Bob Roberts. A report from the New York Times Magazine by M.A Farba and Lawrence Altman stated: After fifteen hours of preparation, Warhols surgery was preformed between 8:45 am and 12:10 p.m. on Saturday February 21, 1987.
There were no complications at the time – and none were found during the autopsy or by any of the doctors who had received the case. Warhol spent three hours in recovery after the surgery, and at 3:45pm was taken to his private room on the twelfth floor of Baker Pavilion. For comfort precaution and on the recommendation of Dr. Cox, his regular physician, Warhol was placed in the hands of a private duty nurse, rather than the normal complement of staff nurses. He was examined during the afternoon and early evening by the senior attending physicians, who noted nothing unusual. Alert and seemingly in good spirits, Warhol watched television and around 9:30 p.m.
spoke to the house keeper at his east side home, a few blocks away. Min Chou was the private nurse attending to Andy. It was not known whether she kept her post but it was clear that she did not record his vital signs and neglected to give him medicine. At 10pm and at 4am on Sunday February 22, Min Chou, the private nurse who had been selected by the hospital from a registry, took Andys blood pressure and found it stable. She gave a progress report to the chief surgical resident by telephone at 11pm; presumably while the patient slept.
At 5:45am Ms. Chou noticed that Warhol had turned blue and his pulse had weakened. Unable to waken him she summoned the floor nurse who in the words of a colleague, “almost had a stroke” A cardiac arrest team began resuscitation efforts but according to hospital sources, had difficulty putting a tube in Warhols windpipe because rigor mortis had started to set in. At 6:31am the artist was pronounced dead. The art world suffered a great lose with the death of Andy Warhol.
His personal style will always move forward touching and changing peoples lives every day. Andy was a one of a kind and will never be recreated. To understand his art is a feeling many people over look. It is an every day reminder that we dont take the time to look at what goes on around us. Now when I walk I wont just look down but all around me. At the trees, clouds, bricks under my feet, and the entire world moving around me.