Andy Warhol 1928-1987

My idea of a good picture is one that’s in focus and of a famous person.
– Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol had planned to attend the University of Pittsburgh and become an art teacher. Instead, he went to the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh and majored in Commercial Art…and the rest is history.

During his time at the Carnegie Institute he created many traditional works of art, two of which will be auctioned at Phillips in New York next month. Before the auction, they will travel to Southampton, New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris for public exhibit.

One of the paintings is an ironic self-portrait titled, Nosepicker I: Why Pick on Me (The Broad Gave Me My Face But I Can Pick My Own Nose). The other is a beautiful, and rare, watercolor painting of the living room of Warhol’s family home.

Both paintings were almost lost in the late 1970s when they were left in the Warhola family car. The car was stolen, and then recovered, with the artworks intact.

The paintings were kept by the Warhola family, and have been displayed at the Warhol Museum for the last decade.

Warhol’s nephew, James Warhola, who is a successful illustrator, told Forbes that he hopes both of the works will find their way into museums.

The portrait is expected to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000, the watercolor of Warhol’s childhood home for $250,000 and $450,000.

In 1949, Andy Warhol began his career in New York as a commercial artist before turning the art world upside down with his paintings and silkscreens.

Andy Warhol: The Supreme Court – Again

In 1962, Andy Warhol’s paintings of Campbell’s soup cans were displayed at the Ferus Gallery in New York. Campbell’s thought about initiating a cease-and-desist order and even sent a lawyer to the gallery.

A law suit was never filed.

Two years later, Campbell’s soup contacted Warhol to say that his work had sparked a lot of interest in their soup. Warhol was sent a case of Campbell’s Tomato Soup…supposedly his favorite.

In 2012, Campbell’s put out a  special, limited-edition series of soup cans with Warhol’s interpretation of the company’s labels in various colors. Campbell’s became the education and events sponsor for the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit: Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years.

Once again, Warhol’s use of an image is being challenged. This time in the Supreme Court.

Warhol used a photograph of Prince, taken by photographer Lynn Goldsmith, to create a series of silkscreens of the musician. Goldsmith claims that Warhol’s use of her photograph was a copyright infringement.

The Andy Warhol Foundation argues that Warhol’s images are ‘transformative’ and do not infringe on Goldsmith’s copyright. The case has been argued in lower courts, with the Warhol Foundation almost always successful.

Much of art, and even science, is often based on the works and ideas of others. Social media has encouraged the sharing of images and ideas. The case could have wide-ranging implications, and not just for artists.

The SCOTUS blog frames the issue as: Whether a work of art is “transformative” when it conveys a different meaning or message from its source material (as the Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and other courts of appeals have held), or whether a court is forbidden from considering the meaning of the accused work where it “recognizably deriv[es] from” its source material (as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has held).

Andy Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith is scheduled to be heard on October 12th.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Andy Warhol available at VFA.

Natasha Gural. Andy Warhol’s First Self-Portrait Painting Stars In Phillips’ Unprecedented Sale From Warhola Family Collection. Forbes. October 3, 2022
Paul Szynol. The Andy Warhol Case That Could Wreck American Art. The Atlantic. October 1, 2022.
Kaelan Des. SCOTUS to weigh whether Andy Warhol’s Prince artwork is stolen property. Washington Examiner. October 1, 2022.
Alexandra Peers. Why Campbell Soup hated, then embraced, Andy Warhol’s soup can paintings. CNN Business. July 29, 2022.