Self-portrait with Hand to Cheek (1977 - 1978)
About this artwork
Although Warhol was unhappy with his appearance throughout his life, self-portraiture was a recurring theme in his oeuvre. Role-playing was a central aspect of many of his self-portraits and his Polaroid camera was an effective means of quickly documenting his changing personae. In this work he initially appears uncomfortable, sitting in profile with his hand tentatively touching his face; his eyes uneasily meet the viewer's gaze. Yet, on closer consideration, there appears to be a slight smirk on his mouth, which alters his overall demeanour to one of intrigue and even flirtatiousness. Perhaps Warhol is experimenting with his own version of the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile.
- title: Self-portrait with Hand to Cheek
- accession number: AR00305
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Photograph
- date created: 1977 - 1978
- measurements: 9.60 x 7.20 cm (framed: 36.00 x 30.50 x 3.00 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.