Many people recognize Andy Warhol by his iconic wig. The ubiquitous two-toned wig is not simply a fashion item but a fundamental tool in the creation and self-mythologization of Andy Warhol's character, ultimately making him a brand identity.
So why does Andy Warhol rarely go without a wig? Let's find out!
About Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 - February 22, 1987) was the undisputed king of American Pop Art. His work explored the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and the burgeoning celebrity culture of the 1960s and spanned multiple media, including painting, screen printing, photography, film, and sculpture.
Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, books, feature films, and documentaries. The Andy Warhol Museum, located in his hometown of Pittsburgh, houses an extensive permanent art collection and archive and is the largest museum dedicated to a single artist in the United States.
Warhol is known as "the leader of the art market." Many of his works are highly collectible and worth a great deal of money.
How Did Andy Warhol Die?
In 1968, when the bigoted feminist Valerie Solanas nearly shot Andy Warhol, Warhol was seriously injured in the shooting, leaving him permanently damaged. The shooting caused enormous damage to his body. These injuries weakened Warhol's overall health in several ways.
In 1987, at age 58, Warhol was admitted to the hospital for gallbladder surgery. Tragically, he died of cardiac arrest. Throughout his life, Warhol had an intense fear of hospitals. As a result of this anxiety, he postponed gallbladder surgery for many years.
One of Warhol's doctors noted that this fear of hospitals and medical treatment contributed to Warhol's death. Because of the long delay, the gallbladder infection had become so severe that it was no longer a routine procedure but a life-threatening emergency.
Why Andy Warhol Was Rarely Without Wig?
1. Hair loss brought on by illness
High-profile figures often cling to an iconic look. Think Marilyn Monroe with her red lips and blonde hair or Elvis Presley with his sleek brunette locks. In 1971, artist Andy Warhol he had created a perfect image for himself. The leader of the Pop Art movement was known for his blond and white wigs.
Writing for The Guardian, journalist Stephen Smith explained that Warhol originally wore the wig out of a human "sense of self." Because he suffered from a neurological disease in his youth, his body was completely hairless."
2. To use the wig to his advantage
In 1971, Andy Warhol (Andy Warhol) through his "alternative" wig and eccentric style to create an iconic look and used hair loss to his advantage. The artist wore a wig and spoke publicly: "I'm very superficial. If you wear a wig, everyone will notice. But if you dye your wig, people notice the dye."
Andy's wigs eventually became part of his style, which he adopted as his popularity and fame grew. Some people even called him a "real-life cartoon character.
3. Catholicism and the emotional factor
But Warhol's wigs were not just a means to hide his baldness or design a unique identity. As a Catholic gay man, Andy Warhol had deep insecurities. In a 2001 issue of Art in America, Bradford Collins described how Warhol was tormented by his appearance, describing Warhol as "an image of himself as deeply flawed.
While on the one hand, he wanted to appear attractive to men, he also understood that the commercial success he so craved required him to appear less gay. But what does it mean to be beautiful? Or was it homosexuality? Warhol began exploring cultural concepts of beauty, identity, and reinventing appearance early in his career.
A wig is more than just a wig. It symbolizes the person Warhol wanted to be and the person he had to hide. Fashion icon Daphne Guinness speaks of using clothes (like armor) to hide behind to protect oneself, even if they draw attention to oneself. In precisely the same way, Warhol's wig allowed him to hide in plain sight.
See Andy Warhol Without A Wig
In 1949, a few months after graduating from art school, Andy Warhol relaxed at Fire Island Beach, California. He was accompanied by his college friend, Corinne Kessler.