Andy Warhol was an American artist, film director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as Pop Art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Warhol initially pursued a successful career as a commercial illustrator. After exhibiting his work in several galleries in the late 1950s, he began to receive recognition as an influential and controversial artist. His New York studio, The Factory, became a well-known gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, playwrights, Bohemians, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons. He promoted a collection of personalities known as Warhol Superstars, and is credited with inspiring the widely used expression "15 minutes of fame".
In the late 1960s he managed and produced the experimental band The Velvet Underground and founded Interview magazine. He authored numerous books, including The Philosophy of Any Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. He lived openly as a gay man well before the gay liberation movement.
In June 1968 he was shot by radical feminist writer Valerie Solanos and was seriously injured, suffering physical injuries from which he never fully recovered. After gallbladder surgery, Warhol died of cardiac arrhythmia in February 1987 at the age of 58.
Andy Warhol has been one of the most consistent artists at auction over the last 3 years and many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled Silver Car Crash (double disaster) and his works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold. A 2009 article in The Economist described Warhol as the "bellwether of the art market."