Boy with Stars and Stripes
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2009

Reference URL

Boy with Stars and Stripes 1959
  • Artist Rooms
Warhol’s voyeuristic interest in the male body can be seen throughout his oeuvre, especially in films such as ‘Sleep’ of 1963 and his stitched photographs of 1986. This fascination is first evident in his early line drawings of young men from the mid to late 1950s, of which many were included in his ‘Drawings for a Boy Book’ exhibition at the Bodley Gallery, New York in 1956. Warhol insisted that intense concentration on a subject drained it of content, with the end result being largely abstract. Here, Warhol depicts a young man whose facial features have been reduced to individual decorative shapes. The stars and stripes in the background are an early example of Warhol's use of iconic American symbols, which would later include Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell’s soup cans and film stars.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.


A devotional image, usually depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary or a saint, traditionally associated with the Byzantine, Greek and Roman Orthodox Churches. By extension, it is used to denote an important and enduring symbol.


French term which is used to refer to an artist's total body of work.


Sexual pleasure gained from secretly watching other people naked or in sexual situations.

Abstract art, Icon, Oeuvre, Voyeurism


  • Acc. No. AR00277
  • Medium Ink on paper
  • Size 42.50 x 35.00 cm
  • Credit 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