Andy Warhol: An American Detective About the Most Famous Artist
You can familiarize yourself and your children with this story by looking at the pictures with them and by exploring the questions that come up as you read. Depending on the age of the child, it is possible to filter the questions. A quick note to everyone - let your imagination run wild!
The artist we are going to talk about today is a mysterious and very mysterious person. Therefore, we propose to feel ourselves in the role of real detectives to find out all the secrets of this author. Through this story we will be introducing the artist and solving riddles. Ready?
And the first secret is the name of the artist
As you may have already guessed, today we are talking about Andy Warhol. But not many people remember that his real name sounded a little different.
So Andy Warhol is a pseudonym. Have you heard this word before?
*Introduce a child to look closely at the black silhouette in the picture and guess who/what that person might be. For older children, you may suggest that they guess for themselves that it is Andy Warhol.
Why do you think a person needs a pseudonym? Why do you think he makes up a fake name?
Would you like to have a nickname, too? Shall we make one up together?
Why did our artist wear a pseudonym? Was he hiding something from someone?
Fellow detectives, here's your first assignment! Guess the real name of the main character in our story.
*Below you will find a series of tasks with different levels of difficulty. Choose one that is not too difficult for your child.
Task 1. Try to read the artist's name. Maybe you will need auxiliary objects to do this?
Task 2. You will know the name and surname of the artist if you guess all the words in the crossword puzzle
Task 3. The artist's name and surname are encoded in puzzles. For more instructions on how to solve this type of problems, see
Yes, the artist's real name was Andrew Warhol, and his invented name was Andy Warhol. One day he seriously thought: in order to be successful, you have to create an image for yourself. Do you know what that is? It is a set of habits, behavior, and a person's appearance. He selects these features specifically for himself, so that he can be distinguished and evaluated by other people.
And the first thing Andy Warhol did for his image was to change his name.
Andrew Warhol - the artist's native name is Czech. He was born in the Czech Republic, but then, went to study in America. His family was not wealthy, and since childhood he has been plagued by questions as to why life is so unfair to him. Why someone is bathed in luxury, and his family has to save up for a long time to buy something. Even then, young Andrew planned for the future: when he grows up, he will certainly become very rich and popular.
He even made special collages: he would sit for a long time at his desk, look at pictures in newspapers and magazines, choose something that represents wealth, cut out and glued together, and the image of himself was placed in the center. That's what he got:
His mother would sometimes look in on him and ask him what it was all about. And he'd say, "I want to live in a world like that and be the most important person there!"
Andrei was a talented child, a pretty good drawer, and when he grew up, he moved to America to study design. He was happy, because finally he was able to get into a creative atmosphere, where everyone draws, carves, creates; where they talk about artists and art, attend various exhibitions and performances.
But he didn't want to be just a designer. He aspired to occupy such a position in life and society that he could make a lot of money from his work. By the way, he was quite good at getting his way and manipulating people, i.e. controlling them. Do you know how?
For example, he would run into the office of some publishing house, where he could work as an illustrator. Mimicking the poor, pathetic, out of breath person, he would ask for a glass of water. He looked so convincing that the office staff immediately agreed to help him. And he gradually carried them away with his talk and stories, which was how he managed to get them to come to the job interview.
There was also another story. Are you afraid of cockroaches?
Mr. Warhol had cockroaches in his house, because in the first time after he moved he lived modestly, rented an apartment, where there could be insects. Just imagine the situation, when during the interview he took out his thick black folders with the works, and out of them could crawl a well-fed and fat cockroach!
It was said that the employer took pity on him and agreed to hire him.
However, Andrei Warhol did not want to look poor and miserable at all. And then he realized that he had to change everything. He had to turn from a poor white rabbit into a daring and fashionable artist. He decided to turn himself into Andy Warhol, the very artist the whole world was now talking about.
The second secret is the appearance of the artist
*Look closely at these pictures. What can you tell about the person in them? Point out to the child the dark glasses. Don't you think this might look like a rather private person?
That's how Andy Warhol came to be!
The third secret - what did the artist do?
He never missed a single fancy party, and everywhere he was "his own man" among the bohemian, very wealthy, public. He was considered a nice guy and a promising artist.
We've hardly said a word yet about what Andy Warhol did. Here's what secret material we have about his work. Look at the picture, what is it?
What is this? What does it say?
Are these jars the same? Why are there so many of them?
Where do you see an image like this? Does it look like a commercial?
It is the work of Andy Warhol, but maybe we are mistaken and he was not an artist at all? What do you think?
No, gentlemen detectives, we are not mistaken, this is a work of art. It was created in 1962.
How long ago was that?
After all, these were the days of your grandparents' youth.
But back to the soup can!
At this time in America, on the wave of industrial boom, conveyor production and advertising is born a new direction in art, it is called Pop Art, which is translated from English as "popular art".
How do you think "popular" - what is it? Mass, accessible to everyone.
The young artists who came up with this trend wanted to draw people's attention to the fact that there are a lot of mass-produced products around (which are produced in huge quantities, and can easily be bought in the store).
Do you go to the stores? What do you see on the shelves? Is everything different? Or are there repetitive items?
In a clothing store, are there the same things?
Have you ever seen someone else have the exact same thing as you?
It's not all an accident! In the 20th century, the factories that could create all these things, jars, and so on, invented a special machine (conveyor) that could make copies of things quickly and easily. Everything that was once created slowly, by hand, piece by piece, became created quickly, on the machine, in huge quantities. Like here (the video shows examples of Kinder Surprise and clothing production):
So there are a lot of identical things appearing.
And pop artists, including Andy Warhol, took notice of this back then, sixty years ago. If this is how things are created, why not create art this way? - thought Andy Warhol, and started copying everything that was so popular.
Andy Warhol admired the fact that any object or image could be copied, to make a series of takes, similar to assembly-line production. Moreover, it did not take much time. How long do you think an artist could previously spend on the creation of one picture? Several years!
These are also the works of Andy Warhol
Смотрите! Узнаете, кто здесь изображен?
Andy Warhol came up with the idea of making video pictures. After all, it's so simple, you put a camera, point it at a person and do nothing else. If before, when video first appeared, artists were looking for ways to convey movement in a painting, then after a while, a new trend emerged.
Would you be able to sit that long?
Our artist story is coming to an end, and we have a surprise question for you! You love McDonald's, don't you? What is it about them that appeals to you the most? Andy Warhol once visited Moscow and he didn't like it. Do you know why? Because there were no McDonalds! Yes, that was more than 50 years ago, and in our country they came much later. But in America they were very fashionable places.
And Warhol dedicated an entire mini-movie to his love! See for yourself!
Now all we have to do is catch him! To do this, we have to play a game, the essence of which is to look carefully into the pictures and look for a little figure of the artist, like this one:
So we've solved almost all the mysteries of the famous artist. Can you remember and tell us what you learned about him?
Illustrations from the book "Where is Warhol?" by K. Ingram and E. Ray, MIF Publishing House. Detailed information about the book
1. light paint that looks like water
2. The last month of fall.
3. a common word for snow, rain, and rivers
4. A large musical instrument that has strings, keys, and pedals
5. Walks behind us all day long, but disappears in the dark
6. Milk dessert
7. A flower decoration on her head.
8. A picture of items on a table
9. Wooden gilded frame for painting
10. A dark orange fruit, not unlike an orange
11. a source of inspiration for all marine artists
12. an artist who sculpts
13. There is a cloth, there is a book
*Look closely at the collage of the young artist. Can you tell from looking at the picture what Andrew was dreaming about?
Ideas for creativity:
Invite your child to make a collage of what he or she dreams about. Or how he sees his future when he grows up. And what they need to do to make those dreams come true. Any illustrative material that you can cut out and glue together will work.
*Let's look at the picture. What's unusual about it? It's a color picture, lots of cars and brightly colored advertisements.
This work was also created by our artist. Do you recognize it? You'd be surprised, but at the time, Coca-Cola had just appeared on the market, and was rapidly becoming a popular drink. Does this work look like an advertisement, too?
The technique in which Andy Warhol worked was called, silkscreening. It is a quick and uncomplicated way to put an image on fabric, and there can be many copies of this image. This is what the technique looks like in practice:
Ideas for creativity:
Watch a video with a master class on how to make a print on fabric at home using fabric, a stencil and a special emulsion. The second option: you can try to make a print using ordinary paint, fabric and a relief object (or the palm of your hand).
*Look at all of these pictures. Do you recognize who is in them? Why are there so many faces? And why are they so bright? Are they eye-catching? Is it easy or difficult to make these pictures?
Take a look at this video. What does this image have in common with a photograph/painting on canvas? What is the difference? What emotions are the models expressing? What do you think they are thinking?
Ideas for creativity:
With paints, colored paper, and old photos, you can make your own version of some color collage. Below are links to workshops that you can repeat with your child
*As you look at the different illustrations below, you can discuss what kind of image different people can/should have: pop artists, artists, teachers, athletes. Where do these rules come from, and do they have to be followed?
Author of the publication: Yana Sidikova