Andy Warhol

The Mark of the Beast (1985 - 1986)

About this artwork

During the mid 1980s Warhol returned to the newspaper adverts that had informed his paintings of the early 1960s. He created a group of works called ‘Ad’s and Illustrations’ that differed from his photographic screenprints and highly stylised images of celebrities. They are mostly black and white and were created by tracing the original adverts by hand, which creates a looser, graphic quality. During the 1980s the U.S.A. was still in the depths of the Cold War. Within this context three themes emerge in these paintings: war, death and religion. In this work ‘The Mark of the Beast’, or ‘666’ is branded on those who choose to worship the beast (Satan claiming to be God), over the true God. The opposing sides to the diptych (positive and negative) can be seen as echoing the Cold War conflict.

see media
  • title: The Mark of the Beast
  • accession number: AR00238
  • artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • date created: 1985 - 1986
  • measurements: Each: 51.00 x 40.80 X 1.90 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.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

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.