Arts, Culture & Lifestyle

9 facts you didn't know about Andy Warhol

In celebration of the "Andy Warhol.Dark Star." at the Jumex Museum, Mexico, we present to you 9 things you might not know about the father of pop art.
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Known for his contribution to pop art, Andy Warhol now has a new exhibition dedicated to his work opening in Museo Jumex in Mexico City.

Compiling over 100 masterpieces from 18 museums around the world, the exhibition titled "Andy Warhol. Dark Star." is now showing at Museum Jumex until 17th September 2017 – just in time to plan your summer getaway.

And in celebration of this fantastic showcase, we present to you a trivia of 9 facts about the father of pop art that you might not know of.

1. His real surname was Warhola. However, in Manhattan, where he had come from his hometown of Pittsburgh, he began working as an illustrator for fashion magazines and signed his first drawings as "Warhol", without the a. Since then he called himself Andy Warhol.


2. In his early years in New York, Andy went to ask for work with the legendary fashion editor Carmel Snow. Andy shared an apartment with several people (and some cockroaches). 

When he got to show his portfolio, one of these insects came out of the papers and he said that the publisher felt so sorry for him that he gave the work to him by pity.


3. According to the historian and philosopher Arthur C. Danto, the first exhibition that Andy Warhol made was in a department store when he designed the shop windows of Bonwit Teller in April 1961.

3. The idea of painting cans of Campbell's Soup came from a friend of his, as Victor Bockris recounts in his famous biography about Andy. 

In the text, Bockris claims that interior designer Muriel Latow asked him for $50 to give him a new idea. So, Andy handed him a check and Latow asked, "What do you like the most in the world?".

"I do not know, what?" Andy replied. "The money. You must paint money. You should paint something that everyone sees every day, that everyone recognises... like a can of soup. "


4. In 1964, Warhol created wooden sculptures that reproduced the boxes of Brillo Soap Pads Boxes. A year later, gallery owner Jerrold Morris tried to import 30 of these pieces to Canada for an exhibit. 

When passing through the customs of that country, the authorities questioned that they were works of art. If they were art they were exempt of taxes, but if they were "boxes" they should pay tariff. 

The case went to the National Gallery of Canada. The then director Charles Comfort ruled that it was not art and that they had to pay taxes. The gallery owner decided not to enter Canada. 

Ironically, over the years, the Brillo boxes have not only become one of Warhol's most iconic pieces but are also featured in the National Gallery's collection in Canada.


5. The Factory was Warhol's work centre. There he filmed his films and surrounded himself with the most eccentric people possible.

One of his closest collaborators was Billy Name. He is credited with the decision to paint the entire place silver. In addition, Name was known for practising white magic. 

In the late '60s, Name locked himself in a room in The Factory and stayed there for a year without ever leaving. The reason? " To clean the energy of the air" that had been filled with "negative vibes". 

The people at The Factory only realised that he was still alive for the remains of yoghurt outside his door.

6. Andy loved recording whole conversations with people he was talking to. It was very often that he attended a tape recorder to all his appointments. 

Despite this, many people felt confident in telling him many of their intimacies. Upon learning of Warhol's death, Elizabeth Taylor called one of the attendants to ask him, somewhat worried, to keep a conversation she had with the artist and never to be taken to the public as it was too private.


7. In the 70s, Andy began to make portraits by order. The process began with a photo shoot of Polaroids. The price of his work on a one-square-metre canvas was of 25,000 dollars (which today's equivalent of 200,000 dollars, approximately).

If they wanted more, they made "packages", with discounts: thus, the second picture would be worth 15,000, the third 10,000 and the fourth 5,000. Her clients included designer Carolina Herrera, who did one of these commissions (now hanging in her office). In 1978 the artist came to earn a million dollars for these portraits and became one of his main sources of income.


8. In his last years of life, he spent several hours in his morning to go shopping. He was a compulsive collector. He loved everything and above all, antiques.

In the last house he lived in, on the Upper East Side, there were whole rooms full of things and boxes that never opened again. After his death, in February 1987, Sotheby's needed 10 days to auction the 10,000 lots, in which they divided his possessions. 

Another of Warhol's hobbies was opening the rooms of his house every morning, checking his belongings and locking the doors again.


9. When he died in February 1987, of postoperative complications of a vesicle operation, he was buried in Pittsburgh, his hometown, with an Interview magazine and Estée Lauder's Beautiful perfume that one of his friends, Paige Powell, who left in the coffin during the funeral.




The "Andy Warhol. Dark Star." exhibition is opened from 2nd June to 17th September 2017 at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City, Mexico.

For more information, visit



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