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  • Warhol made black Pop. Rid of feeling, full of the machine. Warhol’s black was different from the cavernous blacks of Caravaggio; it was commercial, it was flat and easily reproducible. Warhol’s black and white images have proved to be just as impactful and memorable as ones featuring his vivid color palette. Warhol’s Shoes and Marilyn (lot 44) series feature the artist’s use of black through photographic overlay, creating bold, lustful prints that dazzle.

     

    Warhol’s Shoes  


    From 1955 to 1960, Andy Warhol made some 300 illustrations of women’s shoes (often black and white, with hand coloring), including a series of full-page ads that would regularly appear in the Sunday New York Times. His first foray into advertising, shoes were Warhol’s initial subject as an Illustrator for Glamour Magazine. After moving to New York in 1949, the first article Warhol illustrated shoes for was aptly titled “Success Is a Job in New York.” Returning to the subject in 1980, Warhol said: 

    "I’m doing shoes because I’m going back to my roots. In fact, I think maybe I should do nothing but (laughs) shoes from now on" —Andy Warhol quoted in P. Hackett, (ed.), The Andy Warhol Diaries, New York, 1989, p. 306 

    I. Miller advertisement by Warhol, The New York Times
    I. Miller advertisement by Warhol, The New York Times

    A new iteration of shoes, these weren’t the same shoes Warhol illustrated for the magazines. These were Diamond Dust Shoes, a process Warhol learned from his printer Rupert Jasen Smith who had been using the dust in his own prints. Warhol sent Smith out to discount stores to buy women's shoes by the dozen. Back at his studio, on the north side of Union Square, the shoes were laid out on white paper to be photographed in various compositions. Once happy with the photographs, Warhol gave the shoes away; anyone in the studio could have them. 
     

    Warhol’s desk, Halston shoes, Leonardo da Vinci bust, 1981 (Photo by Robert Levin)
    Warhol’s desk, Halston shoes, Leonardo da Vinci bust, 1981 (Photo by Robert Levin)

    The series features pump profiles silhouetted on black backgrounds with diamond dust. Two of the five images in the series limit the color to black on black, and white on black, highlighting the shoes shapes in both stark and subtle contrast (lots 45 and 46). The diamond dust, ordered from an industrial supply company in New Jersey, was 'faux' made of pulverized glass that glistened just to Warhol’s specifications. The marriage of the two, diamond dust and Warhol’s foremost subject—shoes—combined his modest beginnings with the glamour of Studio 54 stilettos. 
     

    Andy Warhol, Halston, Jack Jr. Haley [& Wife], Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger at Studio 54 by Robin Platzer © The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
    Andy Warhol, Halston, Jack Jr. Haley [& Wife], Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger at Studio 54 by Robin Platzer © The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

     

    • Literature

      Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann 255

    • Artist Biography

      Andy Warhol

      American • 1928 - 1987

      Known as the “King of Pop,” Andy Warhol was the leading face of the Pop Art movement in the United States in the 1960s. Following an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol achieved fame with his revolutionary series of silkscreened prints and paintings of familiar objects like Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrity, and advertising, Warhol created his slick, seemingly mass-produced images of everyday subject matter from his famed Factory studio in New York City. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, notably the commercial technique of silk screening, wholly revolutionized art-making.

      Working as an artist, but also director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to managing the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure in the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was notably a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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Property from an Important New York Collection

45

Diamond Dust Shoes (Black and White)

1980
Screenprint in black with diamond dust, on Arches Aquarelle paper, the full sheet.
S. 40 x 59 1/2 in. (101.6 x 151.1 cm)
Signed and numbered 35/60 in pencil on the reverse (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by the artist (with his copyright inkstamp on the reverse), framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $88,200

Contact Specialist

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 21 - 22 October 2020