Willie Shoemaker (About 1977 / 1978)
About this artwork
In 1977 Warhol embarked on a series of portraits of athletes, initiated by the art collector and sports enthusiast Richard Wiseman. At first Warhol was unfamiliar with the sports stars but characteristic of his obsession with fame he recalled: “I really got to love the athletes because they are the really big stars”. Among those he painted was the jockey Willie Shoemaker, who is depicted here in his riding hat. This poster is for a joint exhibition between Warhol and LeRoy Neiman at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. The American artist Neiman was well-known for his paintings of athletes and sporting events. Warhol admired a painting by him of Muhammad Ali when he went to photograph the boxer at his training camp and hoped that his “would come out as good”.
- title: Willie Shoemaker
- accession number: AR00392
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- materials: Lithograph on paper
- date created: About 1977 / 1978
- measurements: 89.00 x 53.80 cm (framed: 97.00 x 62.20 x 3.80 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.