It's another week of research. I think I'm finding my groove and trying not to panic that the month's more than half over! Here we go into week 2 of Andy:
Andy developed an obsession for Truman Capote after reading Other Voices, Other Rooms. His first professional art exhibition in the summer of 1952 was titled “Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote.” The 1950’s was the dawning of an openly gay culture in NYC and Andy was coming to terms with his own sexuality.
Later in 1969, Warhol founded a magazine called Interview, which featured a 60/40 ratio of interview material to commercial print ads. He traded a screenprinted portrait of Capote in exchange for Capote’s contribution of a year’s worth of columns
1956 Valentines Day Warhol opened “Studies for a Boy Book” and at Christmas he combined his celebrity obsession with his shoe one into the “Golden Slipper Show” both held at the Bodley Gallery.
This led to a full page spread in Life magazine. He followed it up with “A Gold Book” which he self published.
Andy Warhol’s career as an illustrator had peaked. He won several awards; he was in all the magazines. Secure financially he bought a townhouse on the Upper East Side in NYC. He started Andy Warhol Enterprises to manage his business affairs. Then in 1958, just as quickly as his career took off, it crashed. Hand drawn illustrations were out of fashion and he struggled to find ways to pay for his new lifestyle.
Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg both had shows at the Leo Castelli Gallery in early 1958 and Andy noticed that the art world seemed to be turning away from Abstract Expressionism and toward assemblages of everyday materials and subjects. Andy became consumed with a new goal: to be a painter and to exhibit at Leo Castelli Gallery. He did commission illustration word during the day and painted at night. His first Pop Art painting was Advertisement 1961, followed by Before and After  1961.
Quoted from Andy Warhol book by Phaidon/Focus Press:
“While visiting the Castelli Gallery, it’s director Ivan Karp took Andy and his friend to the back room to show them a painting by a new artist, Roy Lichtenstein. Lichtenstein’s painting of a comic strip surprised Warhol, who claimed that he was doing exactly the same thing. Karp visited his studio and recommended him to Castelli, but the gallery owner did not want to represent two artists doing similar subjects. Warhol later confessed that Lichtenstein was better at painting comics, so he explored other subjects.”
“Warhol got his first opportunity to show his paintings in April 1961, when Bonwit Teller department store invited him to decorate its display windows. ... It disappointed Warhol that no gallery approached him after the presentation. His fragile ego required the validation of others, and he regularly solicited opinions of his work.”
Made me wonder would Andy love or hate Instagram/Facebook?!
“He invited filmaker Emile de Antonio to his studio and showed him two paintings of Coke bottles. .. In his emphatic manner, de Antonio told him, ‘Andy, the abstract one is a piece of shit, the other one is remarkable. It’s our society, it’s who we are, it’s absolutely beautiful and naked, and you ought to destroy the first one and show the other.’ This response led Andy to abandon his drips and hatching for more evenly painted pictures that concealed his touch.”
I think this is a bit of an overstatement because he returns to a looser style later but it does show how someone gave him some guidance/direction and that helped him move forward.
**Also this week I made these stickers for my Patreon scholars. If you've somehow missed that... I'm on Patreon this year! Those that pledge $15 or more are getting activity books each month with fun ways to learn more about each artist. This month I'm throwing in this sticker too!
Hope you'll check it out and consider joining.