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Andy Warhol Portrait Photograph - Self-Portrait in Drag
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Andy Warhol
Self-Portrait in Drag

1981

About

This unique Polaroid print is in excellent condition, embossed "ANDY WARHOL" on the lower right border, and bearing an estate stamp on verso. It is framed, in black, to 14.6 x 13.25 inches. During the photo sessions that resulted in this picture, a number of different images were produced, including one now owned by the Getty Museum. The Getty described the project as follows: "Andy Warhol enjoyed dressing for parties in drag, sometimes in dresses of his own design. He admired "the boys who spend their lives trying to be complete girls," so in 1981 he and a photographic assistant, Christopher Makos, agreed to collaborate on a session portraying Warhol in drag. In many ways, they modeled the series on Man Ray's 1920s work with the French artist Marcel Duchamp. . . . Warhol and Makos made a number of pictures, both black-and-white prints and color Polaroids, of their first attempt. For the second round of pictures, they hired a theater makeup person. This stage professional better understood the challenge of transforming a man's face into that of a woman. After the makeup, Warhol tried on curled, straight, long, short, dark, and blonde wigs." Those cosmetic enhancements are visible in this image.

Details

  • Period
  • Dimensions
    H 3.75 in. x W 3 in.H 9.53 cm x W 7.62 cm
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    LU30223746321
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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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