5 Fascinating Facts About Andy Warhol You Didn't Know
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. Andy Warhol's real name
  2. Warhol was a hypochondriac
  3. Warhol's wig collection
  4. His love for cats
  5. Warhol reportedly produced over 10,000 works

Pop art icon, Andy Warhol, has intrigued the world for decades with his provocative art and enigmatic persona. Yet, beyond the famous Campbell’s Soup Cans and Marilyn Monroe portraits, there's a wealth of fascinating tidbits that many aren't privy to. Let's peel back the layers and dive into these little-known, intriguing facts about Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol's Real Name

Before he was the Andy Warhol we've come to know and admire, he was born as Andrew Warhola. Yes, that's right, the name that now signifies the pop art movement had a few extra letters originally.

Origins of the Name

Andy Warhol's parents were immigrants from Slovakia. In their mother tongue, the family surname was actually Varchola. When they moved to America, they added the 'W' to make it easier for locals to pronounce. As for the drop of the 'a' at the end of his surname, that's another interesting story.

The Typo that Stuck

Imagine becoming famous because of a typo. Just a regular day in the life of Andy Warhol! In 1962, Warhol had a major solo exhibition showcasing his pop art. However, the promotional materials had a typo and dropped the 'a' from his last name, leaving it as 'Warhol'.

  • The artist's response: Instead of throwing a fit, Warhol shrugged it off and decided to keep it. He liked the ring of 'Andy Warhol' and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Legacy of the name: Warhol's adoption of the misprint, and his nonchalant response, set the tone for his career. His name, synonymous with embracing the unexpected, became a pivotal part of his brand.

So, next time you refer to Andy Warhol, remember the fascinating tale behind the name, a testament to Warhol's unique way of turning mistakes into masterpieces.

Warhol was a Hypochondriac

It's hard to imagine the vibrant and daring artist Andy Warhol being scared of anything. However, he was a known hypochondriac, fearing illness and death his entire life.

Childhood Experience

Warhol's fear of disease can be traced back to his childhood. When he was just 13 years old, he contracted a rare disease called Chorea—also known as St. Vitus's dance. It's a disorder that causes involuntary movements and is often associated with rheumatic fever. This experience left a permanent mark on young Warhol and sparked his lifelong fear of hospitals and doctors.

Impact on His Life and Art

This fear had a significant impact on Warhol's life and his art. He was often seen wearing a surgical mask and gloves, taking multiple daily vitamin shots, and even refused to shake hands. Moreover, his fear of illness influenced his art profoundly.

  • Art reflecting life: Warhol's series 'Death and Disaster,' featuring car crashes, suicides, and electric chairs, is a stark reflection of his morbid fascination and fear.
  • Use of repetition: His signature style of repeating images, like in his Marilyn Monroe and Campbell's Soup Can works, was also a manifestation of his hypochondria—reproducing the same image over and over as if to desensitize himself to it.

Even in fear, Andy Warhol found a way to channel his emotions into his art, demonstrating his genius and resilience. So, the next time you look at a Warhol piece, you'll know there's a much deeper story lurking beneath those vibrant colors and repeated patterns.

Warhol's Wig Collection

Andy Warhol was as well-known for his distinctive silver wigs as he was for his art. But did you know that he owned a collection of wigs that would rival any Hollywood actress's?

Why He Wore Wigs

Warhol began losing his hair in his early 20s, which prompted him to start wearing wigs. But it wasn't just vanity that drove him to this; his wigs became an integral part of his public persona. They helped him create a mysterious and eccentric image that kept people intrigued and guessing.

Not Just One Wig

Andy Warhol didn't just have one wig—he had a whole collection! He wore different wigs for different occasions, such as formal events, public appearances, or just daily life. Over time, these wigs became a sort of trademark for him, as recognizable as his works of art.

More Than Just Hair

Warhol's wigs were more than just hairpieces. They were an extension of his art and his identity. They allowed him to transform, to become a living piece of art. His wigs were as iconic as his prints, contributing to the enduring fascination with his life and work.

So, while we admire the artistic brilliance of Andy Warhol, let's not forget the part his wig collection played in shaping his unique image. In fact, if you think about it, his wigs were a form of art in their own right—each one a masterpiece of disguise and transformation.

His Love for Cats

Andy Warhol was a man of many passions, but one of his most endearing traits was his love for cats. His feline friends were more than just pets—they were his companions, muses, and even his art subjects.

From One to Many

Andy Warhol's love for cats started with one cat named Hester. His mother gave him Hester, and soon, the artist decided that Hester needed a friend. One cat led to two, two led to three, and before you know it, Warhol was sharing his home with 25 felines—all named Sam, except for the original, Hester.

Cats as Art

Not only did Warhol love to live with cats, but he also loved to include them in his art. One of his earliest works as a commercial illustrator is a book called "25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy". The book was a tribute to his beloved pets and showcased his unique, whimsical style.

Cats as Companions

For Warhol, cats were more than just art subjects; they were his companions. He often spoke of how they kept him company during his late-night work sessions. His cats were a constant in his life, providing comfort and companionship.

So there you have it. Andy Warhol, the man known for his pop art and silver wigs, had a soft spot for cats. His love for these furry friends was as unique and enduring as his art. Who knew this side of Warhol, right?

Warhol Reportedly Produced Over 10,000 Works

It's no secret that Andy Warhol was a prolific artist. But did you know that he reportedly produced over 10,000 works in his lifetime? Yep, you read that right—over 10,000! Let's dive a bit deeper into this fascinating fact.

A Staggering Number

Creating over 10,000 works of art is no small feat. To put it into perspective, if Warhol created a piece of art every day, it would take him 27 years to reach that number. And that's without taking any days off!

Range of Art Forms

The astounding part is not just the sheer number, but also the variety. Warhol's works spanned a wide range of art forms, from painting and printmaking to photography, film, and music. He was a master of blurring the boundaries between these mediums, often incorporating elements of one into another.


Warhol's remarkable output is a testament to his dedication and passion for art. His works continue to inspire artists and captivate audiences worldwide. And his influence goes beyond the art world - it can be seen in fashion, design, and popular culture. This is what makes Warhol a true icon in the art world.

So, the next time you come across a piece by Andy Warhol, take a moment to appreciate not just the art but also the incredible dedication and creativity that went into its creation. After all, it's one of over 10,000!

If you enjoyed learning about Andy Warhol and want to explore your own artistic vision, check out the workshop 'Expressing Your Unique Artistic Vision' by Michael Ryan. This workshop will guide you on how to find your own unique style and voice, allowing you to stand out in the art world just like Warhol did.