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  • Provenance

    The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Andy Warhol’s 1986 Fright Wig series represents a defining moment in the artist’s oeuvre as a chronicle of his fascination with the dualism of life and death both as a private individual and as a public figure. The artist’s carefully constructed image, instantly recognizable by high and lowbrow alike, was a result of his innate understanding of the mechanics of a consumer driven, celebrity obsessed society. Warhol revolutionized the idea of the artist as a living brand and flourished in not only depicting icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor but perpetuated his own status as a star by commercializing every facet of his lifestyle and thus, his art. The present lot exemplifies Warhol’s ability to fuse artistic production with his own appearance to document the changing times in his life and promises his viewers an intimate glimpse into struggles and obsessions of the character that was created by Andy Warhol. In these self portraits, Warhol assumes the role of a bodiless figure characterized by a shock of white blond hair contrasting with darkened sunglasses, perhaps worn to hide behind the fact that the images themselves force both the artist and the viewer to directly confront his own mortality. Warhol’s morbid fixation with death is evident here as the artist realizes he cannot fully control the tangible effects of aging within his work and chooses to reduce the distinct wrinkles and sunken cheeks to nothing more than detached splices and marks on a flat picture plane. These self portraits clearly illustrate that not even Andy Warhol, superstar artist and public persona extraordinaire, can make time stand still; however, Warhol’s self portraits remain shocking and intensely powerful as they allow us the rare chance to witness the aging of a true art historical and cultural icon.

  • 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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Three Polaroid photographs.
3 5/8 x 2 3/4 in. (9.2 x 7 cm) each.

£15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for £19,700

Property from The Vanmoerkerke Collection, Belgium

3 Apr 2008, 4pm