Rats and Star
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2009

Reference URL

Rats and Star 1983
  • Artist Rooms
In 1983 Warhol was commissioned to design the cover for the Japanese pop group's Rats & Star’s album ‘Soul Vacation’. This poster features the front of the album with Pop-portraits of the four band members based on photographs by Warhol. He has incorporated blocks of irregularly shaped colour which although screenprinted, appear like collaged fragments of coloured paper. There are also hand-drawn elements (which are also printed) helping create a bold, vibrant image. The band’s name is a palindrome (it reads the same backwards and forwards) and originates in the belief that it is possible to be a rat, coming from a less prosperous background, and still become a star: a notion close to Warhol’s heart as the son of working-class immigrants.

Glossary Open


An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.

Pop Art

An art movement of the 1950s to the 1970s that was primarily based in Britain and the United States. Pop artists are so called because of their use of imagery from popular culture. They also introduced techniques and materials from the commercial world, such as screen-printing, to fine art practice.


A print made by forcing ink through a screen on which a stencil is placed. Traditionally used for commercial printing, it has been taken up by artists since the 1960s when it was used extensively in Pop art.

Collage, Commission, Pop Art, Screenprint


  • Acc. No. AR00447
  • Medium Lithograph on paper
  • Size 102.80 x 72.40 cm (framed: 111.00 x 81.00 x 3.80 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