The 1960s era was a huge influence of Andy Warhol’s work. His paintings began to show who Warhol was as a person.
During the 1960s, Andy Warhol began exhibiting his pop art works for the first time in New York and Los Angeles at exhibitions with Hugo Gallery, Bodley Gallery, Ferus Gallery and more. He also began to paint iconic American objects such as Campbell’s Soup cans, dollar bills, Brillo boxes and Coca-cola bottles.
Warhol challenged traditional art by comparing the mass-produced imagery of advertising with fine art. Attracted by simple, graphic consumer packaging and advertising, Warhol took product labels and logos out of a commercial context and displayed them as pop art.
In 1962, Warhol created his famous and most recognizable Marilyn Diptych, just weeks after her alleged overdose. The canvas is comprised of fifty images of the star, half of which are in color and the other half in black and white. It was an early example of Warhol’s use of silkscreen printing.
He began using the same technique on other celebrities including Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali and Elizabeth Taylor. He trademarked the use of repetition mimics and exaggerates the hyper-sensationalist element of American media, a concept that could not have been more relevant than during that time.
These years were the birth of the Factory, the former hip studio and hangout in New York City for personalities, artists, writers, musicians, celebrities and Warhol superstars. Besides holding groundbreaking parties, the studio became a place of revelry and fascination.
Warhol began promoting in the entertainment field. He produced The Velvet Underground’s debut 1967 album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and he created his first films including Sleep, Eat, Blog Job, Haircut and Kiss. In addition, he made his first television ad, a sixty-second spot for the Underground Sundae at Schraff’s, a popular restaurant chain, and his first ad campaign for Braniff Airlines.
In July 1968, Warhol was shot by superstar Valerie Solanas in an attempted murder. As a radical feminist writer, Solanas felt Warhol had too much control over her life. After the incident, the Factory scene became more controlled, and, for many, the Factory ‘60s ended. The shooting had a profound effect on Warhol’s life and art thereafter.
Warhol led an illustrious life in the ’60s, crossing many social boundaries in the changing society struggling with civil rights and war.