Andy Warhol first found success as an award-winning commercial artist in New York. He soon put the commercial techniques he learned as an illustrator to work in his now-famous studio, dubbed the "Factory." Appropriately enough, the artist once said, "I want to be a machine, " reiterating the commercial, serial themes displayed in his paintings. Surrounding himself with a notorious coterie of assistants - from drifters and junkies to musicians and "poor little rich kids" - Warhol installed himself in his Factory, which itself quickly became New York's most famous counter-culture nucleus. Ghostly pale and silver-wigged, Andy Warhol has become an icon himself, an impenetrable enigma who became one of the most singularly identifiable figures of the turbulent sixties. And while Warhol's work may be best known for its stark reflections of popular and commercial culture, the artist did not hesitate to explore some of the more sinister traits of his era - from war and criminality. His grainy images of highway accidents and his serial panels of the handgun or the electric chair seem to drown emotion while at the same time recovering some of the shock power lost in the media's trivialization of disaster. Warhol's work has been called both naive and sophisticated, thought-provoking and mindless, superficial and profound, and the furor he created refuses to die down - more than a decade after the artist's death. This book explores the paradox of Andy Warhol's life and work with flair and intelligence and brings all the vibrance, humor, and genius of his work into full view.