If you go to an auction house in Palm Beach, taking in a high-end art sale and watching wealthy people and art companies bid on expensive pieces of art, you likely wouldn’t be surprised to see a piece by Andy Warhol. And while you may be surprised to see him come up at a sale, you may be a little bit more surprised by these seven facts. Then again, given the personality his art exudes, you may also be completely unsurprised by all of these interesting facts.
1) The popularly seen Campbell’s Soup painting was not just a painting of any regular cans of soup: Warhol ate the soup every day for twenty years, being inspired by the simplicity and repetition of the labels and the soup and then, in turn, decided to create the piece of art in response. He also created a similar series using Coca-Cola and was seeking to characterize normal everyday items that many people would not typically see as art.
2) While a video is incredibly popular and normalized today, in Warhol’s time, this was not the case. Never a follower or afraid of breaking mainstream, however, Warhol was one of the first artists to explore the film medium, creating over 650 films in his time. Some were as simple as him eating, while others were more complex offerings.
3) If you thought his hair was real, and his glasses were necessary, you, like many others, were fooled just as he had hoped! Warhol, in fact, was bald and had a lazy eye. To compensate, he wore a wig and chose opaque glasses with a small pinhole to see through.
4) Warhol’s artistic desires were not limited to visual, through paintings and film. He also had an extensive smell collection! He used this partly for personal use, changing his perfume every three months, but it was also for creative expression purposes: he would use smells to document memories and then have them on hand to trigger the memories and emotions whenever he needed them.
5) Warhol was shot and almost killed by radical feminist Valerie Solanas. After this incident, he started using himself as a living symbol of death, including creating self-portraits with skulls and photographs by others of his scarred body.
6) Warhol was worth a lot of money: his estate sale netted nearly $25 million, his piece 200 One Dollar Bills sold for over $43 million and his Marilyn Monroe paintings are some of the most coveted pieces of art, even to this day.
Whether you’re a Warhol fan, looking to learn more or are thinking of purchasing one of his pieces, these simple facts will allow you to be a more educated consumer and have a little laugh in the meantime.