An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” – Andy Warhol
As a South Florida gallery that specializes in Pop Art, we have the pleasure of consistently offering new Andy Warhol prints for sale. Because of Warhol’s intense popularity and larger than life reputation, every work from the artist is significant and in high demand. For the Warhol collector, each limited edition print presents an opportunity to own a valuable piece of Pop Art history.
Opportunity is a word that comes up frequently when we talk about Andy Warhol. Whether it’s the opportunity to obtain a highly sought after screenprint or the choices Warhol made in engineering his own celebrity – opportunity is usually the operative word.
Perhaps Warhol’s biggest opportunity was delivered by New York City. It’s hard to imagine that Andy Warhol could have orchestrated such a high level of Pop Art stardom anywhere else. There’s just no way that Warhol would have become a megastar operating as a professional artist in Pittsburgh. One could make the argument that Los Angeles would have been a good fit for Andy, in terms of the city’s affinity for pop culture and the obvious access to Hollywood stars? However, L.A. is not the hub of commerce, art and entertainment that New York is, and more importantly, Pop Art, much like the Abstract Expressionist movement that preceded it, was happening in NYC.
Andy Warhol and New York City
In New York, Warhol thrived by being in physical proximity to the other artists creating the movement, as well as up and comers (who he entertained and collaborated with at The Factory), and of course, the celebrities he courted. In the end, NYC and Andy Warhol were perfectly slated for one another. Warhol was Pop Art’s Woody Allen − filled with idiosyncrasies and insecurities that enabled him to interact with celebrities as if a distant observer, even while in their presence.
Celebrity is what made Warhol, “Warhol.” Undoubtedly, talent made the artist successful, but it was the marketing of fame that made him famous. From using iconic brands like Campbell’s soup to capturing the essence of iconic celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Warhol’s famous subjects helped him to tap into the human psyched and draw attention to his work.
In 1981, Andy Warhol repurposed his famous Pink Marilyn Monroe Screenprint, F&S II. 31, to fashion his hand signed invitations to a Print Retrospective Exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City. This signed edition of approximately 250 is an example of a highly sought after niche work that clearly represents a moment in time from the life of Andy Warhol.
Warhol understood that tapping into the universal intrigue with celebrities was a surefire path to making Pop Art accessible and easily digestible for the American public. He also cherished the idea that his limited edition screenprints would allow a larger audience of collectors to own his work, and that his popularity was sufficient to fuel the demand.
Interestingly, it was Warhol who said, “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” Perhaps it’s this sentiment that drove the artist to feel so compelled to become a celebrity, knowing that only the magic of celebrity could validate the importance of his Pop Art.
As a known figure in the art world, no one manipulated celebrity like Andy Warhol. When Studio 54 exploded onto the scene, Warhol became a fixture at the club, gaining access to even more celebrities and working the media attention to grow his popularity. Andy’s unique persona lent a sense of mystery, keeping the press and the public wondering just what they were witnessing.
Considering that Warhol came from an advertising design background, it makes sense that he had a knack for the elements of brand building. As such, the living, breathing Andy Warhol brand was consistently portrayed and easily identifiable – cold, deadpan, affected − his own unique value proposition. In fact, Warhol’s quirkiness was downright mysterious, just the way he crafted it. Celebrity plus mystery is a sure win; creating interest and demand that is still unwavering in the marketplace.
If you’re seeking a specific Andy Warhol print, please drop by the Vertu Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton or contact us.