Andy Warhol was born in Cleveland, studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and began his career as a commercial artist. Warhol devoted himself to serious forms of fine art when friends in the fashion industry expressed a strong interest in American art. He experimented with many techniques before he found that silkscreen was the most desirable medium for his work.
Using a combination of the stencil method of screen printing and enlarged reproductions of photographs imposed photographically on the screen, he created large editions of images he had already painted. Part of the idea behind pop art was the proliferation of the image, just like the mass-marketed objects, such as the Campbell Soup cans, that provided the inspiration.
Warhol evolved into a portraitist. His Marilyn Monroe series, among many others, take America's symbols to the highest personal level. Many prominent museums own his work, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum.