Andy Warhol saved everything. Every few days he would put together a bunch of stuff that he had accumulated…like movie ticket stubs, bills, wigs, newspaper clippings about himself, Polaroids that he took of his friends…and seal them into a storage box that he labeled TC for Time Capsule.

After his death in 1987, the Time Capsules, all six hundred and ten of them, were sent to the Andy Warhol Museum in his home town of Pittsburgh.

Seven years ago, Blake Gopnik, the former head art critic for the Washington Post, began to sort through the boxes and put together a chronicle of Warhol’s life. The result is a 976-page biography titled Warhol, that details the life of one of the most interesting and talented artists in history.

In a  review of Warhol in The New Yorker, Joan Acocella wrote:

Warhol once tried to give an old friend one of his Marilyn Monroe silk screens, and the man, who disliked Pop, said, “Just tell me in your heart of hearts that you know it isn’t art.” Warhol, imperturbable, answered, “Wrap it up in brown paper, put it in the back of a closet—one day it will be worth a million dollars.” He was right, Gopnik says, but off by two orders of magnitude: in 2008, a Warhol silk screen sold for a hundred million dollars.

There was no huger reputation than Warhol’s in the art of the sixties, and in late-twentieth-century art there was no more important decade than the sixties. Much of the art that has followed, in the United States, is unthinkable without him, without his joining of high culture and low, without his love of sizzle and flash, without his combination of tenderness and sarcasm, without the use of photography and silk-screening and advertising.

Warhol’s large personality often overshadowed his great artistic talent. “In his time, Warhol was very controversial.” Acocella wrote. “Some people thought he was a genius; others, that he should be arrested.”

The Works of Andy Warhol at VFA

We are pleased to have some of Andy Warhol’s most interesting and iconic works at VFA.

Andy Warhol began his career in New York as an illustrator. He got his first big break in 1950, illustrating shoes for Glamour magazine. He was born Andy Warhola, and the magazine incorrectly credited the works as Drawings by Warhol, and he kept the dropped “a” and also kept on doing shoe illustrations, like Shoes – Deluxe Edition, available at VFA.

Warhol submitted the Tidal Basin series, as cover designs for the Washington Post. A departure from his usual style, the works combine silkscreen and collage to create ethereal images of Washington, D.C.

Some of Warhol’s most iconic works are his portraits of Chinese Chairman Mao, created after President Nixon’s historic visit to China, where he met the frail Chairman in 1972. Warhol’s portraits are still banned by the Chinese government. In 2006, the Hong Kong property tycoon Joseph Lau bought one of Warhol’s Mao portraits for $17.4 million in London, setting a record price at a public auction.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Andy Warhol, or any of the other fine art prints, available at VFA.


References:
Waldemar Januszczak. Warhol by Blake Gopnik review — the truth about the pop art pioneer. The Sunday Times. February 16, 2020.
Joan Acocella. Untangling Andy Warhol. The New Yorker. June 1, 2020.
Simon Elmes. The secrets of Andy Warhol’s time capsules. BBC News. September 10, 2014.