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Andy Warhol

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Also Known As: Andrew Warhola Died: February 22, 1987
Born: August 6, 1927 Cause of Death: complications from a routine gall blader operation
Birth Place: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: filmmaker, artist, publisher, author, illustrator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Pioneer of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s who transplanted his sometimes witty, sometimes boring explorations of popular culture from the canvas to the screen. Warhol acquired a 16mm camera in 1963 and made his first "underground" film, "Kiss," the same year. It combined the deliberately nonprofessional techniques endorsed by the American avant-garde with Warhol's own camp sensibility and the ironic banality of his "serial" artwork. Warhol's film work falls into a silent and a sound phase, the first of which reached its apex in "Sleep" (1964), a six-hour study of a slumbering man conveyed via a virtually stationary camera. Glacially indifferent to the question of viewer involvement, "Sleep" is not so much "watched" as it is "experienced." Warhol was prolific in his idiosyncratic, voyeuristic brand of "cinema verite," churning out product at an assembly-line clip of roughly one film a week during the period 1964-65. He trained his camera on the motley band of freaks, musicians and social register slummers that trooped through his Felliniesque "Factory." In an ironic inversion of the Hollywood studio system, Warhol elevated the more prominent "players" into underground "superstars": the beautiful,...

Pioneer of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s who transplanted his sometimes witty, sometimes boring explorations of popular culture from the canvas to the screen. Warhol acquired a 16mm camera in 1963 and made his first "underground" film, "Kiss," the same year. It combined the deliberately nonprofessional techniques endorsed by the American avant-garde with Warhol's own camp sensibility and the ironic banality of his "serial" artwork.

Warhol's film work falls into a silent and a sound phase, the first of which reached its apex in "Sleep" (1964), a six-hour study of a slumbering man conveyed via a virtually stationary camera. Glacially indifferent to the question of viewer involvement, "Sleep" is not so much "watched" as it is "experienced."

Warhol was prolific in his idiosyncratic, voyeuristic brand of "cinema verite," churning out product at an assembly-line clip of roughly one film a week during the period 1964-65. He trained his camera on the motley band of freaks, musicians and social register slummers that trooped through his Felliniesque "Factory." In an ironic inversion of the Hollywood studio system, Warhol elevated the more prominent "players" into underground "superstars": the beautiful, tragic Candy Darling, Joe Dallesandro, Holly Woodlawn, Jackie Curtis, et al.

Although all of Warhol's films were governed by his peculiar sensibility, he assembled a nucleus of capable technicians, such as Paul Morrissey and Chuck Wein, who made various--uncredited--contributions, often in the master's absence.

Warhol entered his "sound phase" with "Harlot" (1965) and continued to crank out such influential films as "Vinyl" (1965), based upon Anthony Burgess's "A Clockwork Orange," which launched the tragic career and cruel exploitation of socialite/superstar Edie Sedgwick. In 1966 he produced his most enduring and definitive work, "The Chelsea Girls," a crazed showcase of Factory stalwarts which synthesized the enthusiasms and strategies encompassed by his previous work. The film was projected on two adjacent screens, each of which depicted unrelated situations. Its relative popularity ("The Chelsea Girls" was the first Warhol film to surface in "real" movie houses), inspired a more commercial, or at least less arcane, approach to filmmaking.

While such post-Chelsea Girls" films as "Lonesome Cowboys" (1969) continued to use typically Warholian alienation effects (extreme long takes, "strobe" cuts, etc.), they also relied on previously disdained qualities such as plot and characterization. By the time the Factory closed, after an attempt on Warhol's life in June of 1968, Morrissey had inserted his more formal concerns into the Warhol formula, producing a series of bizarre sex farces that proved more accessible to a popular audience (although they gradually reverted into self-parody). By the mid-1970s, Morrissey was turning out Gothic romps affixed with Warhol's brand name, although they were only vaguely indebted to the Factory style.

Though he had effectively closed the filmmaking chapter of his career after the release of "Andy Warhol's Bad" (dir. Jed Johnson, 1977), Warhol continued to satisfy his voyeuristic appetites with a Polaroid camera that he toted on his late-night revels until his untimely death in 1987.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Women in Revolt (1972) Director
2.
  Imitation of Christ (1970) Director
3.
  Blue Movie (1969) Director
4.
  The Loves of Ondine (1968) Director
5.
  Lonesome Cowboys (1968) Director
6.
  I, a Man (1967) Director
7.
  Nude Restaurant (1967) Director
8.
  Bike Boy (1967) Director
10.

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Feature, The (2009)
4.
 Nico Icon (1995) Himself
5.
 Jonas in the Desert (1994) Himself
7.
 Look, The (1985)
8.
 Cocaine Cowboys (1979)
10.
 Identikit (1974)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1949:
Moved to New York after graduating from college
:
Eaarned reputation as leading illustrator through 1950s
1962:
First one-man show in New York
1962:
Began attending underground/avant-garde film screenings
:
Shot first film on trip to Los Angeles
1963:
Made first "serial" film, "Kiss"
1964:
Joined by scenarist Ronald Tevel and assistant director Chuck Wein
1964:
Shot first sound film, "Harlot" (70 mins) in December
1965:
Paul Morrissey joined Warhol's entourage
1965:
Made "Vinyl," an adaptation of Anthony Burgess's "A Clockwork Orange"; also film debut of Edie Sedgwick
1965:
"Produced" debut record album of "The Velvet Underground and Nico"
1966:
Made "The Chelsea Girls," whose commercial success precipitated more mainstream projects
1968:
Seriously wounded after being shot twice by Valerie Solanis on June 4
1968:
While Warhol recuperated, Morrissey wrote and directed "Flesh," the first "Warhol" film which Warhol did not direct
1969:
Founded INTERVIEW magazine
1977:
After "Andy Warhol's Bad" (directed by Jed Johnson), ended filmmaking career (though he directed several music videos in the 1980s)
1983:
Started own cable TV talk show
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Schenley High School: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania -
University of Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania -
Carnegie Institute of Technology: - 1949

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Julia Warhola. Czech.
father:
Andrej Warhola. Czech.
brother:
Paul Warhola. Artist. Born on June 26, 1922.
brother:
John Warhola. Older.
niece:
Madale Warhola Hoover. Artist.
nephew:
James Warhola. Artist, illustrator.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again"
"The Andy Warhol Diaries" Warner Books
"Andy Warhol" Penguin

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