: This Is America (. . )


: 1708

Text 15


Match the vocabulary items with their definitions





an announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event




each of a regular series of publications




an amount of a commodity equivalent to a specified sum of money




affected by physical or mental illness




dismiss as inadequate, unacceptable, or faulty




make up or establish the character or essence of




embody or represent (something) in a faithful or appropriate way




calculate or judge the value, quantity, or extent of








a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas





Read the text as quickly as possible and answer the questions:


1. What is Andy Warhol famous for?

2. What was Andys childhood like?

3. What school did he graduate?

4. When did he move to New York?

5. How did he start his career in fine art?

6. How is pop art different from fine art?

7. When was Warhols first exhibition organized?

8. What directions except from painting was Warhol interested in?

9. When did the Andy Warhol Museum open?

10.How many Warhols works does it exhibit?


Andy Warhol, 1928-1987: The Father of Pop Art

Andy Warhol, one of the most influential people in American modern art. Warhol was best known for his bright colored images of famous people and food

cans. Through both his art and lifestyle he explored the nature of fame, popular culture, and the media. His artistic influence and unusual personality redefined the modern art world.


Andy Warhol was not always famous around the world. He was born in 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents were immigrants from Czechoslovakia. Their last name was Warhola, which Andy later shortened to Warhol. As a child Andy spent a great deal of time sick in bed. While he was recovering, he would draw pictures. When his father died, he left enough money for Andy to attend art school.


Andy Warhol attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology where he studied pictorial design. Pictorial design is the art of creating images and drawings. Often these drawings are used in the production of advertisements and magazines.


In 1949 Warhol moved to New York City to work as a commercial artist. He drew pictures for magazines and advertisements. He became very successful. During the 1950s Warhol drew images for many important magazines such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. He also became very well known for a series of ads he made for shoes. Warhol used his experience in commercial art as an entry into fine art. He began his painting career as part of the Pop Art movement. This movement was at its strongest during the 1960s.


Pop Art was defined by images of material goods and popular culture. Pop artists rejected the serious nature of the art world. To do this, these artists painted or printed everyday images of things that usually are not considered art. These images included photographs from magazines, drink advertisements and drawings from popular comic strips.


Some critics say that Pop Art was a reaction to Abstract Expressionism. Artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement took themselves very seriously. They did not approve of popular culture. They thought artists should not be concerned with such unimportant parts of culture. Pop artists, however, celebrated popular culture in all of its forms. They approved of using mass media and mass production as an influence in their art. Pop Art also reflected the rise in wealth and the importance of owning things that America experienced in the 1950s. One art critic defined Pop art as popular, low-cost, young, mass-produced and sexy.


One of Warhols first exhibits was in 1962. He created thirty-two paintings of red and white soup cans. These paintings shook the art world. The soup cans looked like the soup produced by one of Americas most popular food companies, Campbells. Every painting looked the same except for the words written on the can that described the different kinds of soup.


Warhol used a very smooth painting method so the artwork almost did not look hand-made. The paintings looked like they came out the same factory that made the soup cans. No one had ever seen art like this. Warhol also made paintings using

images such as Coca Cola bottles, dollar symbols, and popular cleaning products. He took the most everyday objects and turned them into fine art.


Warhol soon started making silk-screen prints. This method of reproduction permitted the artist to make many images very quickly. He would often repeat the same picture many times in one artwork. He liked the idea of mass produced art. He once said that he thought everyone should think alike and be like a machine. In fact, the place where he created his art was called The Factory. He had many assistants who helped him produce his art.


Warhol explored many other subjects. For example, he made a series of paintings on death and disaster. These works showed images of car accidents and executions. He also made pictures of famous people such as the actress Marilyn Monroe and the singer Elvis Presley. Warhol was very interested in fame. He celebrated famous people and they celebrated him.


Andy Warhol once said something about fame that became very popular and is still repeated today. He said that in the future, everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes. Warhol certainly enjoyed being well known. He created a very unusual public personality. He would wear strange wigs on his head made of white hair. He would go out every night to parties and other social gatherings where there were beautiful and important people. He would talk to reporters in a very shy manner. Often he would provide unclear answers to their questions.


Andy Warhol was much more than just a painter. He was also a film maker, publisher, and manager of a rock band. For example, he produced several low budget art films in the early 1960s. One was called Empire. It showed a filmed image of the Empire State Building in New York City. The film was eight hours long. In the movie Sleep Warhol recorded a friend sleeping. The film lasts six hours. When asked about the uneventful nature of these films, Warhol answered that he liked boring or uninteresting things.


In the middle 1960s Warhol also managed a rock band called The Velvet Underground. He helped produce one of their records and designed the cover of the album.


Another of Warhols projects was the creation of Interview magazine. This magazine covered many kinds of American popular culture. Andy Warhol was able to interview the kinds of people he liked best, famous people. A colorful drawing of a famous person was on the cover of every issue of the magazine. The image was drawn in the style of Warhols paintings.


In 1968 Andy Warhol was shot by a woman who had been in one of his films. Valerie Solanas was angry with Warhol for not making a movie based on a play she wrote. The bullet from the gun hit several of Warhols organs and almost killed him. The medias reaction to this event made him even more famous.

Even though he worked on many other projects, Andy Warhol always kept producing artwork. In the 1970s he made millions of dollars painting peoples portraits. Wealthy people all over the world paid a great deal of money to have him paint their picture. In the 1980s Warhol worked with several younger artists. They included Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Warhol also wrote several books and created two cable television programs.


Warhols art would have surely continued in many new directions. But he died as a result of problems after a minor operation in 1987. He was fifty-eight years old. At his death, Warhols total estimated worth was more than one hundred million dollars. Most of this money helped create the Andy Warhol Foundation which helps support the visual arts.


In 1994 the Andy Warhol Museum opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This museum is in a large industrial building. As you walk up the seven floors of the museum, you can see more than five hundred works of art by Warhol. The museum has pieces from every period of his career.


On the fourth floor there is a permanent exhibit called Silver Clouds. This room is based on an art gallery show that Warhol designed in 1966. The room is filled with many silver colored balloons that are square shaped. The balloons contain helium and oxygen so that they float around with the air currents. Warhols idea was to create a joyful and magical room in which the artwork moved around the visitors.


Andy Warhol helped change the way the world defined modern art. His colorful Pop Art images and unusual personality made him one of the most famous and important people in American art and culture.




Decide whether these statements are TRUE or FALSE


1. Andy Warhol was always famous only in the US.


2. His artistic influence and unusual personality made people look at the modern art world differently.


3. Warhol invented his own painting method which permitted the artist to make many images very quickly.


4. All of Andy Warhols projects were an immediate success.


5. Andy Warhol kept off social gatherings and parties.


6. Andy greatly benefited from being shot in 1968.


7. The Andy Warhol Foundation helps support the Andy Warhol Museum.



1) Match the beginning of the phrases with their endings to make expressions from the text


1. provide a. to the event


2. draw b. images for magazines


3. shake c. in a shy manner


4. be interested d. everyday objects into fine art


5. reaction e. oneself very seriously


6. turn f. unclear answers to the questions


7. take g. the art world


8. talk h. in fame


2) Write the word on the right in the correct form to complete each sentence


Andy Warhol, one of the most

American modern art. His

people in influence and unusual

1. influence

2. art


the modern art world. Andy Warhol

3. define

attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology where he

studied production of

design. These drawings are used in the and magazines. In 1949 Warhol

4. picture

5. advertise

moved to New York City to work as a

artist. He

6. commerce

became very commercial art as an

. Warhol used his experience in into fine art. He began his

7. success

8. enter

painting career as part of the Pop Art

. Pop artists

9. move


culture in all of its forms. They

10. people

approved of using mass media and mass production as an influence in their art.




1. Think of a personality equally important in the world of fine art and prepare a report about him/her.

2. Discuss in the class the importance of modern popular art.

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