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Andy Warhol Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Warhol was born in Pittsburgh. He is a founder and major figure of the POP ART movement. Warhol pioneered the development of the process whereby an enlarged photographic image is transferred to a silk screen that is then placed on a canvas and inked from the back. It was this technique that enabled him to produce the series of mass-media images - repetitive, yet with slight variations. These, incorporating such items as Campbell's Soup cans, dollar bills, Coca-Cola bottles, and the faces of celebrities, comment on the banality, harshness, and ambiguity of American culture. Andy traveled around the country with The Velvet Underground (Lou Reed and John Cale). In 1968, Valerie Solanis, a rejected superstar, came into The Factory and shot Andy three times, he was pronounced dead, but after having his chest cut open, he survived.


Paul Jenkins, 1979
Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 40 X 40" (101.60 x 101.60 cm.)
Signed, on reverse

The portrait of painter Paul Jenkins is a wonderful example of the process undertaken by Warhol to create a fully realized portrait. Taking into account the painting style of his subject, Warhol used Jenkins's spontaneous brushwork as a backdrop for the photographic image. The contrast between the stark black and white photo-image and the painterly bands of color highlights the two disjunctive modes of representation at work. This jarring portrait underscores the duality inherent in the painting as a portrait of the man and as a portrait of the artist. Warhol simplified the subject's features, creating a strong, iconic presence; he is a celebrity, and the Warhol portrait validates this fact.
Paul Jenkins was originally one panel of a two panel portrait of the artist. This panel shows Jenkins slightly recessed with large color areas silk-screened in a rainbow effect giving subtle changes in coloration across the pictorial surface of the painting. The graphic, silk-screened image and the freely applied acrylic paint do not mesh together, but instead create a jarring, disjunctive visual field. A specific moment in time has been captured, unemotional but dignified in presentation, offering a respectful look at this painter without commentary and without apology. Carter Ratcliff states that Warhol, "appropriates the image to leave it blunter, more stark." Warhol had said on many occasions that what you see on the surface is all there is.
Warhol always strove to flatter his subjects. He sensed that this was an important aspect of his engagement with them, and further verified his fascination with the banal nature of celebrity and fame. A Warhol portrait is not only a portrait of the subject but also one of the artist himself who, through his highly individual style and masterly manipulation of the media, made a significant contribution to this genre, in which he documented the leading figures of his day. sites/?iy=339
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