Boy with Stars and Stripes (1959)
About this artwork
Warhol’s voyeuristic interest in the male body can be seen throughout his oeuvre, especially in films such as ‘Sleep’ of 1963 and his stitched photographs of 1986. This fascination is first evident in his early line drawings of young men from the mid to late 1950s, of which many were included in his ‘Drawings for a Boy Book’ exhibition at the Bodley Gallery, New York in 1956. Warhol insisted that intense concentration on a subject drained it of content, with the end result being largely abstract. Here, Warhol depicts a young man whose facial features have been reduced to individual decorative shapes. The stars and stripes in the background are an early example of Warhol's use of iconic American symbols, which would later include Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell’s soup cans and film stars.
- title: Boy with Stars and Stripes
- accession number: AR00277
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- date created: 1959
- measurements: 42.50 x 35.00 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.