Self-Portrait in Blue Shirt (1977-1978)
About this artwork
Although Warhol was unhappy with his appearance throughout his life, self-portraiture was a recurring theme during his career. Role-playing was a central aspect of many of his self-portraits and his Polaroid camera was an effective means of quickly documenting these changing personae. In this work Warhol stares manically out to the right of the composition. He appears scared and surprised by something the viewer cannot see. From the 1970s until his death in 1987, many of Warhol’s self-portraits are haunted by his fear of death. This is more obvious in his self-portraits with skulls, but here, there is a sense of his fear of the unknown - perhaps what is beyond death.
- title: Self-Portrait in Blue Shirt
- accession number: AR00304
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Photograph
- date created: 1977-1978
- measurements: 9.30 x 7.30 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2016.
Andy Warhol was born 'Andrew Warhola' to Slovakian immigrant parents living in Pittsburgh in America. Warhol's subject matter was taken from popular culture, in the form of advertising, comics, magazines and packaging. He was able to produce his works quickly by transferring images onto canvas or paper through photography and screenprinting, sometimes with the help of assistants. Warhol stated that he wanted to make works that showed no trace of having been produced by hand. His interest in mass production reflected the fast-developing consumer culture he recognised in America. His New York studio, 'The Factory,' became a popular meeting place for artists, drop-outs, celebrities and bands.