10 surprising things you never knew about Andy Warhol


Andy Warhol changed the art world and became famous for his pop art, his bohemian lifestyle and many other things. Yet, no matter how much we think we know about Andy, there’s always something more to find out. Today we’re bringing you 10 surprising things that you probably didn’t know about the famous artist.

1. He published a cookbook


In 1959 Andy created a cookbook, called “wild Raspberries”. As someone who portrayed himself as a soup and sandwich guy, you may think Andy decided to show a whole another side of him by publishing something like that. But the book was satirical and made fun of high-end eating.


Wild Raspberries by Andy Warhol

2. He was a devout Catholic and attended the Mass regularly


Warhol went to Church to pray almost every day. It was a very important part of him that is probably not known that well. His art, of course, was also connected to his faith. His series „The Last Supper“ is only one example of that. After he died, Warhol was buried in a Catholic cemetery.


The Last Supper by Andy Warhol

3. His nickname was Drella


Dracula + Cinderella = Drella. The nickname is open for your interpretations, yet it probably reflected his dual personality, which was so difficult to uncover from his interviews. Two members of “Velvet Underground” released an album in Warhol’s memory called “Songs for Drella”.


Andy Warhol - Self Portrait in Drag 

4. His silver wigs were there to cover his early balding


When you think of Andy Warhol you probably imagine him in one of his silver wigs. Warhol began going bald in his early 20s. But the wigs became his trademark. One amongst many, at least.


Fright Wig by Andy Warhol

5. He was very close to his Mother


Julia Warhola was always by his son‘s side. They lived together, they worked together, she even appeared in his film „Mrs. Warhol“. The Mother and son were very close. Warhol‘s father died when Andy was 13 years old.


Julia Warhola by Andy Warhol

6. An album cover that he created was nominated for a Grammy


In 1950s and 1960s Andy Warhol worked as a freelance commercial artist. Some of his clients were Vogue, The New Yorker, and others. He created cover art for a whole bunch of bands but his 1971 cover for Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones was nominated for a Grammy.


Sticky fingers album cover art by Andy Warhol

7. His parents were immigrants


His parents came to America from their village in Slovakia. Warhol was born in the U.S. in 1928. He also had two older brothers. The family didn‘t have much money and lived in a small apartment in Pittsburgh.


Julia and Ondrej Warhola 

8. He used urine for painting oxidation


In 1977 Warhol began creating „The Oxidations“ – a series of abstract paintings. He used copper paint for the base and added urine for oxidation which helped him create unique colors and interesting textures. His friends were also encouraged to join him in the oxidation process. Different urine gave different colors to the pieces.


A painting from „The oxidations“ series by Andy Warhol

9. He was classically trained


Considering how controversial and novel Warhol‘s art is, it may be surprising that he was trained classically. Warhol studied at the Carnegie Institute for Technology. In 1949, he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He did have some confrontation with professors who sometimes didn‘t find Warhol‘s work to be quite acceptable. That didn‘t stop him from truly changing the art world.


10. He collected taxidermy


Ok, we saved the strangest one for dessert. Although, after reading this, you may not have much appetite. Warhol owned stuffed animals, such as a lion, a penguin, a peacock. A stuffed dog “guarded” his studio from 1969 to 1987. On the bright side, we must say that Andy also had a living dog, a dachshund named Archie


Warhol and Archie by Jack Mitchell