Warhol was the son of a Czech immigrant and he studied art at the Carnegie Institute. He designed ads for womenâ€™s shoes before bursting upon the cultural scene in the early â€˜60s. "Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator, and a very successful one, doing jobs like shoe ads for I. Miller in a stylish blotty line that derived from Ben Shahn. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, 1961-62. From then on, most of Warhol's best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. Earlier artists, like Monet, had painted the same motif in series in order to display minute discriminations of perception, the shift of light and color form hour to hour on a haystack, and how these could be recorded by the subtlety of eye and hand. Warhol's thirty-two soup cans are about nothing of the kind. According to Bob Colacello, Warhol devoted much of his time to rounding up new, rich patrons for portrait commissionsâ€“ including Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, his wife Empress Farah Pahlavi, his sister Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon, Diana Ross, and Brigitte Bardot. Personal life: his good friend was Sedgwick Edie, an model. She was married to Michael Post. Otherwise, his personal life is full of secrets. Was he homosexual or celibate? On February 22, 1987 he had a gall bladder operation and died the next morning of a heart attack in New York City.