Today marks Andy Warhol’s 84th birthday. Warhol, who died in 1987, is perhaps most widely known for pioneering the Pop Art movement with iconic (and iconoclastic) works like Campbell’s Soup Cans, Brillo Box (Soap Pads), and his Marilyn Monroe screenprints. Over time, he became as much of a pop celebrity as Monroe herself, gaining notoriety for an enigmatic and often chameleon-like public persona that would come to define post-1960s “cool.”
Warhol also played a critical role in the rise of another generation-defining artist — Jean-Michel Basquiat. Their relationship has been the subject of countless articles and documentaries, as well as Julian Schnabel’s 1996 film, Basquiat. As we’ve noted here before, Basquiat offers an appropriately unconventional take on Jean-Michel’s brief yet brilliant career, though it does remain firmly grounded in real-life events and personages, including Warhol himself, played here by David Bowie. In the above clip, the upstart Basquiat (Jeffrey Wright) boldly confronts Warhol in a restaurant and convinces him to buy some of his sketches. This encounter would give rise to a dazzling collaboration and intimate friendship, albeit one cut short by tragedy.
In honor of Warhol’s birthday, a variety of media outlets have published retrospective essays and interviews. The Huffington Post has a fascinating interview with art icon and The Factory stalwart Ultra Violet, while its UK branch has published a collection of some of the most memorable Warhol photographs. The New Yorker also has a gallery of photos taken by Billy Name, who came to know Warhol after moving into The Factory in the mid-1960s. For some of Warhol’s most memorable quotes, check out Flavorpill‘s curated selection, or, if you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area, you may even want to head down to the St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery and leave some soup cans in remembrance.
For our part, we’ll just leave you with one of our personal favorites: Andy Warhol eating a hamburger. Enjoy.