Andy Warhol (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1928–1987 New York)
Gelatin silver print
19.6 x 3.6 cm (7 3/4 x 1 7/16 in.) each
Purchase, Rogers Fund, Joyce and Robert Menschel, Adriana and Robert Mnuchin, Harry Kahn, and Anonymous Gifts, in memory of Eugene Schwartz, 1996
Not on view
This pair of photo-booth strips is one of Warhol's earliest experiments with photography, a medium that increasingly dominated his art during his peak years of innovation from 1962 to 1968. For Warhol, the photo booth represented a quintessentially modern intersection of mass entertainment and private self-contemplation. In these little curtained theaters, the sitter could adopt a succession of different roles, each captured in a single frame; the resulting strip of four poses resembled a snippet of film footage. The serial, mechanical nature of the strips provided Warhol with an ideal model for his aesthetic of passivity, detachment, and instant celebrity. Here, Warhol has adopted the surly, ultracool persona of movie stars such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, icons of the youth culture that he idolized.
These strips were owned by the collector Sam Wagstaff and, after his death, by his friend the artist Robert Mapplethorpe.
April Axton; Samuel J. Wagstaff, Jr.; Robert Mapplethorpe; Christie's (11/8/89 sale); Robert Miller Gallery
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Andy Warhol: A Retrospective".
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 14," September 9, 1996–December 9, 1996.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs: A Decade of Collecting," June 5, 2001–September 4, 2001.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "On Photography: A Tribute to Susan Sontag," June 6, 2006–September 4, 2006.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photography on Photography, from the 1960s to the Present," April 8, 2008–October 19, 2008.