Text in Art 6. – Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol (Andrew Warhola). American. 1928 – 1987. Along with Lichtenstein and Rauschenberg Andy Warhol was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. Warhol began as a commercial illustrator doing jobs like shoe ads. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans. Following this, most of Warhol’s best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when a groupie shot him. He almost died, but was eventually killed by a gall-bladder operation in 1987. Warhol became known around the world as a painter, filmmaker, record producer and public figure. His art addressed the world of mass advertising in which human experience is filtered through television, print and images that become banal by endless repetition. Warhol became a media star of understated cool and predicted that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. He said, “Fame is like peanuts, when you start, you can’t stop.”

As seen in my examples of Warhol’s art, text is used but only as product labeling; much as Lichtenstein’s text only occurs as an inherent part of comic book speech bubbles. Whereas Lissitzky and Picasso consciously incorporated letters and words into their art, the other western artists explored to date synthesized text with their art only when it was a part of the found materials used or as inherent content in their ironic pastiche of the commercial / social world.

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