The Artist Birthday Series

Andy Warhol

Warhol’s personal life has been the subject of much debate and consideration. He is commonly believed to have been a gay man, and his art was often infused with homoerotic imagery and motifs. However, he claimed that he remained a virgin for his entire life.

Andy and friends, 1969
Andy and friends, 1969

Warhol’s life and work simultaneously satirized and celebrated materiality and celebrity. On the one hand, his paintings of distorted brand images and celebrity faces could be read as a critique of what he viewed as a culture obsessed with money and celebrity. On the other hand, his focus on consumer goods and pop-culture icons, as well as his own taste for money and fame, suggest a life in celebration of the very aspects of American culture that his work criticized. He spoke to this apparent contradiction between his life and work in his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, writing that “making money is art and working is art, and good business is the best art.”

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