Andy Warhol: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pop-Art’s Bad Boy

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  • To celebrate the launch of Transmitting Andy Warhol at the Tate Liverpool this week, we share 5 facts about the iconic artist that might surprise you...

    Love him or hate him, Andy Warhol was one of the most influential and controversial artists of his time. Even today, 27 years after his death, the iconic creative is still dividing opinion. His latest exhibition Transmitting Andy Warhol launches at the Tate Liverpool this week, and focuses upon the transformative techniques and practices for which he became known. So, in celebration of all things Warhol, here are five weird and wonderful facts about the captivating character that you might not already know…

    Hoarding was his thing

    An avid collector of mundane objects (well, he did manage to turn soup cans into art!) – Warhol kept hold of everything, from airplane menus and unpaid invoices to pizza dough and cookie jars. There was such an excess of items when he died that it took nine days to auction off his estate. Now that’s some clutter!

    He enjoyed his own company

    While most of us love a good chat over lunch – Warhol preferred to eat in peace and dreamt of opening a restaurant specifically for ‘lonely people’. The star enjoyed his own company so much that he spoke to a tape recorder daily and referred to it as his wife. His play Pork was based upon these compulsive recordings.

    He created time capsules
    After relocating his studio, the curious artist became rather fond of cardboard boxes, filling them with source materials from his work, along with other quirky objects. Once full, he secured and dated each box like a time capsule, accumulating over 600 throughout the course of his life. 91 of these capsules have been opened and offer fascinating insight into Warhol’s private world as well as the culture of the time.

    He was image obsessed
    Warhol was obsessed with his image – he often wore wigs or heavy make-up, and would never include any blemishes when painting a portrait of himself. Incredibly self conscious, he had a nose job at 29 and made the decision to dye his hair grey early on in his life so that his youthful face was emphasised.

    He was a total mummy’s boy

    Julia Warhol had a huge influence on her son’s career. When Andy fell ill at nine-years-old she encouraged him to explore his artistic interests and become immersed in popular culture. She later got involved with his paintings, and even lived with him in New York for the last 20 years of her life. Not quite what you’d expect from pop-art’s bad boy!

    Transmitting Andy Warhol runs from 7 November 2014 – 8 February 2015 at Tate Liverpool.

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