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Andrew Warhola (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987)

Andy Warhol was an American artist and a central figure in the movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author, and public figure known for his membership in wildly diverse social circles that included bohemian street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy aristocrats.

Warhol coined the phrase 15 minutes of fame, which refers to the fleeting condition of celebrity that attaches to an object of media attention, then passes to some new object as soon as the public's attention span is exhausted.

In many ways Warhol refined and expanded the idea of what it means to be an artist. Warhol frequently took on the position of a producer, rather than a creator - this is true not only of his work as a painter (he had assistants do much of the work of producing his paintings), it is true of his film-making and commercial enterprises as well. He liked to coin an idea and then oversee or delegate its execution. As he refined this element of his work The Factory evolved from an atelier into an office. He became (and still is) the public face of a company, and a brand.

He founded the gossip magazine Interview, a stage for celebrities he "endorsed" and a business staffed by his friends. He collaborated with others on all of his books (some of which were written with Pat Hackett.) He adopted the young painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the band The Velvet Underground, presenting them to the public as his latest interest, and collaborating with them. One might even say that he produced people (as in the Warholian "Superstar" and the Warholian portrait). He endorsed products, appeared in commercials, and made frequent celebrity guest appearances on television shows and in films (he appeared in everything from Love Boat to Saturday Night Live and the Richard Pryor movie, Dynamite Chicken).

In this respect Warhol was a fan of "Art Business" and "Business Art" - he, in fact, wrote about his interest in thinking about art as business in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again. This was a radical new stance, as artists traditionally positioned themselves against commercialism. Warhol and other pop-artists helped redefine the artist's position as professional, commercial, and popular. He did this using methods, imagery and talents that were (or at least seemed to be) available to everyone. In this respect Pop Art has contributed to a philosophical and practical incorporation of art into popular culture and society, and art offered to us as a product of that society.