Andy Warhol American

Not on view

Andy Warhol’s public persona, with his trademark platinum wig and black glasses, was the artist’s greatest creation, an immediately recognizable visual brand that would have thrived in today’s social media. His precocious genius was to make his own image, seen here six times, as iconic as that of the celebrities he immortalized through serial repetition. With hindsight, however, this work also portends Warhol’s mortality. The sewn portraits recall the artist’s own scarred torso. The exposed threads, which bind the piece, evoke the laces of the surgical corset he wore after Valerie Solanas shot him twice in the abdomen in 1968. The ongoing consequences of that attack likely played a role in Warhol’s death following surgery in February 1987, a mere six weeks after he debuted his stitched photographs in Manhattan.

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