Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen 2 (F & S II.127)Facts | History | Meaning
Catalogue Title: Ladies and Gentlemen (F & S II.127) Year: 1975 Size 37 1/2 x 25 1/2” 95.2 x 64.8cm Medium: Screenprint on paper Edition: Edition of 250, 50 AP numbered in Roman numerals, signed and numbered in pencil on verso.
Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen (F & S II.127)Meaning & History
Ladies and Gentlemen draws attention to an anonymous social group at the height of seventies subculture. The artist who painted America’s most elite and powerful figures also gave party-goers the same visual empowerment, and representation.
Ladies and Gentlemen is a single screenprint produced by the artist in 1975 portraying a drag queen. The screenprint is important example leading to an iconic portfolio of the same name and year, wherein the artist produced a series of exuberant portraits of the LGBTQ community.
In the mid-seventies, Warhol was no stranger to NYC nightlife. He frequented clubs close by to his studio such as the Gilded Grape, a hub for the gay and transgender community. After hearing Italian friend and art dealer Luciano Anselmino’s suggestion that he should portray the vibrant characters and outsiders he met, Warhol set about going to these venues and taking Polaroids of them. Here, he has sketched the outline of one subject with loose, fluid lines. Taking precedence over formal draughtsmanship is colour and expressive quality. The face of the person is decorated with different collage-style primary colours, evoking both the make-up of drag, as well as the colourful personality behind the sitter.
Though the Ladies and Gentlemen series are less instantly recognisable than Warhol’s portraits of starlets such as Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Onassis, they are no less important, particularly as they draw attention to an anonymous social group at the height of seventies subculture. The artist who painted America’s most elite and powerful figures also gave party-goers the same visual empowerment, and representation.
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