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Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol "Torso X" Polaroid, 1977

1977

$12,000

About

Andy Warhol began using the big-shot Polaroid camera in 1971, and continued using it religiously until his death in 1987. Despite the camera being discontinued in 1973, he continued to use it to capture the actors, artists, dancers, politicians, socialites, and Factory-members of his world. Frequently, Warhol's polaroids were used as preparatory works for his iconic silkscreen portraits or other artworks. They also revealed his immediate personal vision functioning as a chronicle of his surroundings and social life. In 1977, Warhol began work on two new sexually-charged bodies of work, Torsos and Sex Parts. These two series are regarded as Warhol's most daring, arguably the earliest overtly gay work in his oeuvre. Ultimately, the works in these series served to help Warhol assert his own homosexuality. Sex Parts is a series of photos featuring explicit male and female body parts, blurring the line between art and pornography. The inspiration for these works came from Polaroids that Warhol had shot through a series of photoshoots featuring models from gay clubs and bathhouses his assistant Victor Hugo had scouted. After asking the men to relax, pose, or engage in sexual activities, Warhol shot them on both 35mm and Big-Shot Polaroid. The final images are explicit, beautiful, and playful. They are an interesting counterpart to what Robert Mapplethorpe was creating at the same point in the late 1970's. The tamer images from the photoshoot became the foundation for Torsos, which featured screenprints of models posed in styles reminiscent of the "high art" classical nudes. These images challenge the value we assign to cultural artifacts, and in true Warhol fashion question what is accepted as art in society. Additional images available on request. Untitled "Torso" USA, circa 1977 Unique polaroid print Estate's embossed signature 4"H 3.5"W (artwork) Framed with museum glass Very good condition. Provenance: Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / the Estate of Andy Warhol, Christie's Private Sales (New York City) Note: This work is accompanied by a certificate of provenance from Christie's and the Estate of Andy Warhol

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About Andy Warhol (Artist)

The name of American artist Andy Warhol is all but synonymous with Pop art, the movement he helped shape in the 1960s. He is known for his clever appropriation of motifs and images from popular advertising and commercials, which he integrated into graphic, vibrant works that utilized mass-production technologies such as printmaking, photography and silkscreening. Later in his career, he expanded his oeuvre to include other forms of media, founding Interview magazine and producing fashion shoots and films on-site at the Factory, his world-famous studio in New York.


     Born and educated in in Pittsburgh, Warhol moved to New York City in 1949 and built a successful career as a commercial illustrator. Although he made whimsical drawings as a hobby during these years, his career as a fine artist began in the mid-1950s with ink-blot drawings and hand-drawn silkscreens. The 1955 lithograph You Can Lead a Shoe to Water illustrates how he incorporated in his artwork advertising styles and techniques, in this case shoe commercials.


     As a child, Warhol was often sick and spent much of his time in bed, where he would make sketches and put together collections of movie-star photographs. He described this period as formative in terms of his skills and interests. Indeed, Warhol remained obsessed with celebrities throughout his career, often producing series devoted to a famous face or an object from the popular culture, such as Chairman Mao or Campbell’s tomato soup. The1967 silkscreen Marilyn 25 embodies his love of bright color and famous subjects.


     Warhol was a prominent cultural figure in New York during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. The Factory was a gathering place for the era’s celebrities, writers, drag queens and fellow artists, and collaboration was common. To this day, Warhol remains one of the most important artists of the 20th century and continues to exert influence on contemporary creators.

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