I don’t think Andy Warhol would like being remembered as “The Campbell’s Soup Can Guy.” Or the guy who said that everyone would have 15 minutes of fame. He was involved in so many things – painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author. But more than anything, Andy Warhol was one of the first people to realize the power of celebrity.
He was a leader in the pop art movement that sprang up in the 1960s as a reaction to the increased commercialization of the culture. Warhol saw it first-hand as a successful commercial illustrator. His iconic image of the soup can is memorable, as are the portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe.
Warhol moved from painting to silkscreen process for creating his art in the mid- 60s, and his work polarized the public. Even now, the New York Times says, “Depending on your point of view, Andy Warhol is the greatest American artist of the second half of the 20th century or a corrupter of art who destroyed painting and took us down the slippery slope of postmodernism.”
I think he was a brilliant man who bought into his own hype. But the marketplace may disagree. Warhol’s painting “Eight Elvises” sold for $100 million. I think that would have struck Andy Warhol as just hilarious.