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Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas
20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm) Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola August 6, 1928. Born to Slovak immigrants, he was reared in a working class suburb of Pittsburgh. From an early age, Warhol showed an interest in photography and drawing, attending free classes at Carnegie Institute. The only member of his family to attend college, he entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Melon University) in 1945, where he majored in pictorial design. Upon graduation, Warhol moved to New York with fellow student Philip Pearlstein. He found steady work as a commercial artist working as an illustrator for several magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker. He also did advertising and window displays for retail stores such as Bonwit Teller and I. Miller. Prophetically, his first assignment was for Glamour magazine for an article titled "Success is a Job in New York."
Throughout the nineteen fifties, Warhol enjoyed a successful career as a commercial artist, winning several commendations from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. During this period, he shortened his name to "Warhol." In 1952, the artist had his first solo exhibition at the Hugo Gallery, exhibiting Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote. Subsequently, Warhol's work was exhibited in several venues throughout the fifties including his first group show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1955. In 1953 the artist produced his first illustrated book, A is an Alphabet and Love is a Pink Cake, which he gave to his clients and associates. With a burgeoning career as an illustrator, he formed Andy Warhol Enterprises in 1957.