Andy Warhol produced most of his iconic silkscreened portraits as paid commissions, like this one of Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry. To take the initial photograph used for the screenprint, Warhol used a Polaroid camera, before enlarging the image and printing it in bold, block colours. To make extra money from the sale, Warhol would usually create at least four prints in different colours, so that when the sitter saw them all laid out together, they’d buy more of them. Harry has remarked that this upsell didn’t work on her, however, as she just couldn’t afford them – but that it was very difficult to choose between the images.
Date of work
Original: ANDY WARHOL Debbie Harry 1980 Acrylic paint and screenprint on canvas 106.7 x 106.7 cm ©/®/™ 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Scarob Inc. is the exclusive owner of Debbie Harry’s name, image and likeness
Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) was an American artist whose work commented on contemporary themes in American society: consumerism, celebrity, mass production, disaster and death. His openness to subject matter was matched by a willingness to explore all media, resulting in an innovative approach to painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, and experimental filmmaking. He introduced popular everyday subjects into his practice, openly acknowledging the wide-ranging influences on his work, and built a lasting reputation as one of the most important figures of the Pop Art movement.