"The guru of pop art in the early 1960's was unquestionably Andy Warhol, who took the most ordinary objects and the most popular personalities of American culture, gave them heroic scale, and turned them into art (American Art History and Culture, 574)." Andy Warhola was born in 1930 to immigrant parents from Czechoslovakia. His father, Andrei Warhola, came to the United States in order to avoid mobilization after being married to Andy's mother, Julia Zavacky Warhola, for three years. In 1921, after a separation of many years, Julia rejoined her husband in America. Andy was the youngest of their three sons. During his teenage years, Andy suffered from several nervous breakdowns. Overcoming this adversity, he graduated from Schenley High School in Pittsburgh in 1945. This same year he entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) where he majored in pictorial design. Upon, graduation Warhol moved to New York where he found steady work as a commercial artist. He worked as an illustrator for several magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and The New Yorker and did advertising and window displays for retail stores such as Bonwit Teller and I. Miller. His first assignment was for Glamour magazine for an article titled "Success is a Job in New York.".
"Throughout the 1950's, Warhol enjoyed a successful career as a commercial artist, winning several commendations from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (Andy Warhol Pop Box: Fame, the Factory, and the Father of American Pop Art)." In these early years, he shortened his name to "Warhol." In 1952, the artist had his first individual show at the Hugo Gallery, exhibiting Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote. His work was exhibited in several other venues during the 1950's, including his first group show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1956.
The 1960s was an extremely prolific decade for Warhol.