Rats and Star (1983)
About this artwork
In 1983 Warhol was commissioned to design the cover for the Japanese pop group's Rats & Star’s album ‘Soul Vacation’. This poster features the front of the album with Pop-portraits of the four band members based on photographs by Warhol. He has incorporated blocks of irregularly shaped colour which although screenprinted, appear like collaged fragments of coloured paper. There are also hand-drawn elements (which are also printed) helping create a bold, vibrant image. The band’s name is a palindrome (it reads the same backwards and forwards) and originates in the belief that it is possible to be a rat, coming from a less prosperous background, and still become a star: a notion close to Warhol’s heart as the son of working-class immigrants.
- title: Rats and Star
- accession number: AR00447
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- materials: Lithograph on paper
- date created: 1983
- measurements: 102.80 x 72.40 cm (framed: 111.00 x 81.00 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.