To this day, mention the name ‘Andy Warhol’ to almost anyone and you’ll hear about his famous images of soup cans and Marilyn Monroe. But though Pop Art became synonymous with Warhol’s name and dominated the public’s image of him, his life and work are infinitely more complex and multi-faceted than that.
In Warhol, Blake Gopnik takes on Andy Warhol in all his depth and dimensions; from his working-class Pittsburgh upbringing as the child of immigrants to his early career in commercial art to his total immersion in the ‘performance’ of being an artist, accompanied by global fame and stardom - and his attempted assassination.
The extent and range of Warhol’s success, and his deliberate attempts to thwart his biographers, means that it hasn’t been easy to put together an accurate or complete image of him. But Gopnik brings to life a figure who continues to fascinate because of his contradictions - he was known as sweet and caring to his loved ones but also a coldhearted manipulator; a deep-thinking avant-gardist but also a true lover of schlock and kitsch; a faithful churchgoer but also an eager sinner, sceptic, and cynic.
“An epic cradle-to-grave biography of the king of pop art...The author serves up fresh details about almost every aspect of Warhol's life in an immensely enjoyable book that blends snappy writing with careful exegeses of the artist's influences and techniques” - Kirkus Reviews
“Enthusiastic and absorbing.” - Wall Street Journal