Warhol: Artist/Filmmaker (1969)
About this artwork
This image by the celebrated American photographer Richard Avedon shows Warhol’s torso mutilated by surgical scars. These were the result of life-saving surgery after being shot and critically injured by Valerie Solanas in 1968. The following year he posed for this powerful photograph. Avedon has composed the image so that any identifiable features of the artist, such as his iconic silver wig, are removed. In turn attention is focused entirely on the detail of the torso. With the black leather jacket there is a hint of aggression and violence, yet there is also something very tragic about the almost tangible wounds. Including Warhol’s hand across his fleshy abdomen highlights our own notion of skin and the pain such injuries would cause.
- title: Warhol: Artist/Filmmaker
- accession number: AR00416
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- materials: Half-tone print on paper
- date created: 1969
- measurements: 60.90 x 45.70 cm (framed: 67.90 x 52.60 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.