"IN THE FUTURE EVERYBODY will be world famous for 15 minutes."
The Campbell's Soup Cans. The Marilyns. The Electric Chairs. The Flowers. The work created by Andy Warhol elevated everyday images to art, ensuring Warhol a fame that has far outlasted the 15 minutes he predicted for everyone else. His very name is synonymous with the 1960s American art movement known as Pop.
But Warhol's oeuvre was the sum of many parts. He not only produced iconic art that blended high and popular culture; he also made controversial films, starring his entourage of the beautiful and outrageous; he launched Interview, a slick magazine that continues to sell today; and he reveled in leading the vanguard of New York's hipster lifestyle. The Factory, Warhol's studio and den of social happenings, was the place to be.
Who would have predicted that this eccentric boy, the Pittsburgh-bred son of Eastern European immigrants, would catapult himself into media superstardom? Warhol's rise, from poverty to wealth, from obscurity to status as a Pop icon, is an absorbing tale--one in which the American dream of fame and fortune is played out in all of its success and its excess. No artist of the late 20th century took the pulse of his time--and ours--better than Andy Warhol.
Praise for Vincent van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist:
"This outstanding, well-researched biography is fascinating reading."--School Library Journal, Starred
"Readers will see not just the man but also the paintings anew."--The Bulletin, Starred
"An exceptional biography that reveals the humanity behind the myth."--Booklist, Starred
A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
An ALA Notable Book
Biographers Greenberg and Jordan (who teamed up for Chuck Close Up Close and Action Jackson) give a personable account of "the wiggy artist from Pittsburgh." In this generous book, which makes the artist's eccentricities seem more delightful than misanthropic, Warhol comes off as a social misfit to whom people gravitate. "[T]he secret of Andy's success was his own self-effacement," says his assistant, Gerard Malanga. Warhol's na vet -initially genuine, then calculated-impresses others during his indulged childhood, at art school and in his early design career. His offbeat manner captivates impresarios and opportunistic "Superstars" who flock to his work space, the Factory. Greenberg and Jordan don't tiptoe around his homosexuality, naming his lovers and also a crush on Truman Capote, who called him a "born loser." They depict his notorious Pop choices as serendipity; he seems to stumble into fortune and fame. When a boyfriend suggests that Andy buy a hairpiece, he starts wearing wigs. Stuck for ideas, he asks for advice, and a consultant changes history by saying, "You like money. You should paint that." Recollections from associates balance nicely with art reviews and descriptions of his painting, printmaking and filmmaking, although the photos and art reproductions, clustered at the end of the book, could be better placed to illustrate the text. Warhol cultivates a shallow persona and superficial art (with its "flat, thick lines, gaudy color, a machine-induced image"), but this enthusiastic bio revels in his kooky mysteriousness and renders him a role model for determined nonconformists. It makes a vibrant companion to James Warhola's picture-book memoir, Uncle Andy's. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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December 10, 2007
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