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Facts about Andy Warhol

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Published November 3, 2011 | Updated August 10, 2015

As a leader of the pop art movement, Andy Warhol was a symbol for the merging of capitalist culture and bohemian living. His famous paintings featured pop icons and well-known products taken out of commercial context and turned into works of art. The world's fascination with Andy Warhol can be attributed to his larger-than-life persona and eccentric lifestyle, which created an image everyone wanted to unmask.

Interesting Facts about Andy Warhol:

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  • What's in a Name

    His real name is Andrew Warhola Jr. Although his original birth name is well known, there is some discrepancy about the actual date of Andy Warhol's birth. Since no certificate was issued, it wasn't until he went to college in 1945 that any documentation was established. Today, historians believe Andy Warhol was born August 6, 1928.

  • The Pope of Pop

    Warhol was trained as a commercial illustrator, and the art he later made reflected his training. He painted popular subjects like celebrities and products, and over his career, worked on developing an artistic style that removed all handmade qualities from the art.

  • Quote, Unquote

    His words were as famous as his art. Andy Warhol had a penchant for voicing his opinion on culture and is even credited with coining the phrase "15 minutes of fame." In 1975, his observations and thoughts were collected into a philosophy book that was commercially published.

  • Not Just Paintings

    Warhol dabbled in film, literature, and music. A love of all forms of media led Warhol to experiment with adopting bands, self-publishing several books, and directing dozens of short films. Warhol even designed the cover art for the Velvet Underground, a band he discovered and made famous.

  • His Signature Look

    The silver hair Warhol sported was actually a wig. Andy Warhol had several habits that related to the way he presented himself. Besides wearing a silver wig to enhance the youth of his face, Warhol also refused to wear any color except black after he became an established artist.

  • Another Side of the Man

    Andy Warhol famously talked about opening a restaurant called ANDY-MATS that had single stalls for each patron with a television set in each one. Although he loved the idea of solitary living, in truth, Warhol was also a proponent of human kindness and volunteered regularly at homeless shelters in New York throughout his life. He also left most of his estate to create a foundation dedicated to supporting and promoting visual arts.

  • The Shooting That Changed His Life

    In 1968, Warhol was shot in front of his art studio, The Factory. Just two days before the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, Andy Warhol was shot by Factory fixture Valerie Solanas. Warhol suffered serious injuries from the gunshot wound and had health problems stemming from the shooting for the rest of his life.