Andy Warhol (Andrew Warhola) was born in 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1945, where he majored in pictorial design. Upon graduation, Warhol moved to New York with fellow student Philip Pearlstein.
Warhol worked as an illustrator for several magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker, as well as advertising and window displays for retail stores. In 1952, the artist had his first solo exhibition, exhibiting Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote. In the 60's, Warhol painted his first works based on comics and advertisements, enlarging and transferring the source images onto his canvases with an opaque projector. Appropriating images from popular culture, Warhol created many paintings that remain icons of 20th-century art including the Campbell's Soup Can, Marilyn and Elvis series. In 1963 Warhol established a studio at 231 East 47th Street which became known as the "Factory." In addition to painting and creating box sculptures such as Brillo Box and Heinz Box, Warhol began working in other mediums, including producing The Velvet Underground, publishing the magazine Interview, and filmmaking.
In the 70s, Warhol renewed his focus on painting and worked extensively on a commissioned basis both for corporations and for individuals whose portrait he painted. Warhol also published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and Back Again). Firmly established as a major 20th-century artist and international celebrity, Warhol was given a major retrospective of his work at the Pasadena Art Museum which traveled to museums around the world. In the late seventies Warhol began dictating an oral diary to his colleague Pat Hackett, which became the basis for the best-selling Andy Warhol Diaries. Warhol produced several paintings in collaboration with other artists including Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente.
In 1989, the Museum of Modern Art in New York had a major retrospective of his works. In 2001, Heiner Bastian curated a Warhol retrospective that began in Berlin and traveled to the Tate in London and finally to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.