Schätzpreis: 2.500.000 £ - 3.500.000 £
ca. 4.267.752 $ - 5.974.853 $
Zuschlagspreis: 2.882.500 £
ca. 4.920.718 $
Andy Warhol Self-Portrait 1986 synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas 56 x 56 cm (22 x 22 in.) Stamped with the Estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and numbered 'PO40.040' on the overlap and on the stretcher.
Provenance The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York Acquired from the above by the previous owner Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, Contemporary Art, Part I, 7 November 2011, lot 21 Acquired from the above sale by the present owner Catalogue Essay Andy Warhol spent the majority of his artistic career exploring the glamorisation of American culture. His recognisable portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy are steeped in flavourful colours of the 1960’s Pop scene. Focusing his efforts on the portraits of celebrities, Warhol ignored his own growing popularity as the king of Pop Art. The present lot, Self-Portrait, 1986, was made shortly before his death in 1987 and is his final visual transformation into the artistic icon that he represents to the world today. Ivan Karp, the famous art dealer first told Andy, "You know, people want to see you. Your looks are responsible for a certain part of your fame - they feed the imagination." (I. Karp, as cited in C .Ratcliff, Andy Warhol, New York, 1983, p.52) Warhol’s first attempt at self-representation was with his early 1960’s photo booth self-portraits, treating his uneasy relationship with his own public persona as an isolated image. By returning to photo booth negatives, Warhol remained aloof from the snapping camera and hid behind his large dark glasses. His early self-portraits depict Warhol as a camera shy artist, uncomfortable with the iconic glamour of celebrity that he himself adored so much in the circle of people he surrounded himself with. His 1967 Self-Portrait depicts a thoughtful, less intense Warhol with his head slightly turned and his gaze looking off into the distance. In drastic contrast to his photo booth images the present lot, Self-Portrait, 1986, confronts Warhol’s larger struggle with mortality. After surviving the traumatic murder attempt by Valerie Solanas in 1968, Warhol’s self-portraits became wrapped up in a powerful physiological veil and drove Warhol to truly question how he wished to be portrayed in the years to come. Warhol’s obsession with death embodied itself through many of his artistic series including his disaster series of the early 1960s, his portrayals of Jackie Kennedy mourning her husband John F. Kennedy after his assassination and his portraits of Marilyn Monroe after her tragic death. Warhol’s awareness of death has been a reoccurring theme throughout his artistic career and become only further emphasised after 1968. His later work of the 1980’s including his self-portraits and his series of religious paintings including The Last Supper certainly illuminated Warhol’s state of mind during the mid to late 80’s, one of self-reflection. Warhol’s acclaimed London gallerist Anthony d’Offay described that “In 1985, I was in Naples spending Christmas with Joseph Beuys and his family and we visited the house of an architect where there was a large red portrait of Beuys by Warhol in the bedroom. In that second I realized that Andy really was the greatest portrait painter of the second half of the 20th century. And yet it had been a long time since anyone had seen a memorable self- portrait of his. I went immediately to see Andy in New York and put the idea to him, which he embraced warmly and said, come back in three weeks and I’ll show you a new group of photographs and together we can choose an image. So I came back and he showed me photographs of him wearing his fright wig in various guises; there were probably about fifteen photographs.” (Anthony d’Offay) D’Offay was struck by the ominous nature of the Polaroid’s and immediately recognised the images as a blending of Warhol’s recognisable skull design and a death mask. Warhol’s Frightwig portraits depict Warhol’s head floating upon a stark, darkened background, the wig was a source of self-consciousness for Warhol who recounted that on the street in 1983 a kid yelled to another kid ‘“Look at the guy with the wig,” and I was really embarrassed, I blew my cool and it ruin
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