Andy Warhol

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Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an American artist and filmmaker who came to prominence as a leading figure of the pop art movement in the 1960s. His best known works depicted icons of popular culture, including celebrities (Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe) and household products (Brillo scouring pads, Campbell's Soup). Warhol's studio in Manhattan, known as the Factory, attracted members of various underground subcultures, such as transvestites and drug addicts, some of whom became minor celebrities when they appeared in the artist's films. The Velvet Underground, an underground rock band that played Factory parties and featured in Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia show, is now regarded as one of the most important and influential bands of the era.

Perhaps as much for his appearance and personality as for his work, Andy Warhol achieved a rare feat for a visual artist: becoming a household name within his lifetime. His statement that "In the future everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes," has entered common speech as an expression for someone getting a brief flash of media attention—their "fifteen minutes of fame."

In 1968, Warhol survived a gunshot from Valerie Solanas, founder and sole member of the Society for Cutting Up Men (S.C.U.M.). He died of a heart attack following gallbladder surgery in February 1987.