Andy Warhol is one of the first true examples of a “celebrity artist,” someone who was not only known for his artwork, but also for his own persona and charisma. However, that concept doesn’t get off the ground without some of his work, which would soon become what we associate with Pop art, and some of the most recognizable pieces of work of all art. Here’s a closer look on the full scale of Warhol’s work and what has drawn so many people to it over the years.
It’s important to note that Warhol’s first foray into art was as the most successful commercial illustrator in New York well before art experts and critics ever took any of his work into consideration. At the time, his work would be very different than the later iconic screen-printed images we remember, more focus on comic and decorative work. While many people may debate the exact meaning of Pop art, there’s no debating the important connection between modern pop culture and artwork. In the past, pop culture and high art occupied different worlds, and Warhol played a big role in allowing these worlds to merge. His work after the primary Pop art movement would be yet another example of this.
This refers back to 1965 when Warhol “retired” from painting in order to focus on making experimental films. Most people tend not to pay attention to these, but this trend is beginning to change, and on top of his other accomplishments, Warhol is now seen as one of the forefathers of independent film as we know it. More attention is also being paid to the commissioned paintings he did in the 1970s and onward as a part of his greater body of work as well. Today, Andy Warhol is still seen as one of the most prominent and recognizable figures in all of American art. Notably, the Andy Warhol Museum in his native Pittsburgh stands as the largest museum in the country dedicated to a single artist.
With Warhol being such a successful commercial artist beforehand, it makes sense that he understood value better than a lot of others. One of his most famous quotes is saying “business art is the step that comes after Art. I started as a commercial artist, and I want to finish as a business artist.” With that in mind, an Andy Warhol piece is a great addition to anyone’s art collection, at one point being described as the bellwether of the art market. On occasion, you may see one selling at auction in Dania Beach, so be sure to keep an eye out.