Self-Portrait with Fright Wig
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2009

Reference URL

Self-Portrait with Fright Wig 1986
  • Artist Rooms
This Polaroid is one of several that Warhol took in preparation for a series of large-scale paintings commissioned by Anthony d’Offay for an exhibition at his London gallery in 1986. In the photographs, and subsequently transferred into the paintings, Warhol’s skull-like head is isolated from his body, floating against a dark background. This composition bears striking similarities to a Robert Mapplethorpe photographic portrait of Warhol from the same year. In both, Warhol wears his famous silver wig, but, in this Polaroid, the hair stands on end in an almost manic fashion. His eyes seem to be fixated on something to the left, behind the viewer, creating a distinct feeling of uneasiness. This series of self-portraits was the last Warhol completed before his death in 1987.

Glossary Open

Commission

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

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Print

An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Screenprint

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.

Commission, Composition, Print, Screenprint

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00313
  • Medium Photograph, colour, Polaroid, on paper
  • Size 9.50 x 7.20 cm (framed: 36.00 x 30.50 x 3.00 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