Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in 1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Julia and Andrej Warhola, Russian immigrants from Slovakia. In 1945 he attended a commercial design course at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University). After he graduated in 1949 he moved to New York and established himself as an advertisement illustrator for advertisements, at magazines such as Vogue and Glamour. While producing a series of illustrations for shoes, the printers accidentally left out the final A from his surname in the credits. He then officially changed his name to Andy Warhol in 1950. After a decade long career, he grew tired of commercial illustrations and asked gallery owner Muriel Latow for advice on how to continue his artistic career. She told him to paint what he liked most and things that everyone knows, like money and cans of soup. In the ’60s he was fascinated by a number of American celebrities: Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and others, depicting them with the silkscreen technique. The mysterious death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962, with whose tragic death the artist felt he could identify with, inspired him to produce a series of prints, to which he returned in later years. In the mid-’60s he devoted himself to more serious themes, depicting a series of car collisions and other accidents and deaths. In 1963 Warhol moved to his famous study, later known as The Factory, where he created most of his art – the Flower series, self-portraits, sculptures, his own film production… The Factory soon became a center for many “super” celebrities and artists, among others the Velvet Underground band and Nico, Bob Dylan, members of the Rolling Stones, etc. Andy Warhol has a place in the history of art as a versatile artist – a painter, sculptor, filmmaker, photographer, commercial illustrator, music producer, writer and even as a model. In 1996 the Andy Warhol museum was opened in his hometown of Pittsburgh. This is reputed to be the most complete American museum dedicated to a single artist. Feminist activist Valerie Solanos made an assassination attempt on Warhol on July 3rd, 1968 and seriously wounded him with a gunshot to the abdomen, which left him in extremely poor health for the rest of his life. He died after an operation of his gallbladder in 1987. Visconti Fine Art’s founders and directors Lazo and Ziva Vujic had the privilege of personally befriending Warhol, who collaborated with the gallery on the Art and Sport Edition and produced one of the 16 prints (Speedskater) for the 1984 winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
* 1928-08-06, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
+ 1987-02-22, New York, USA