Andy Warhol Moonwalk Portfolio (F & S II.404-405)Facts | History | Meaning
Catalogue Title: Moonwalk (F & S II.404-405) Year: 1964 Size 38 x 38″ 96.5 x 96.5 each Medium: Portfolio of two screenprints on Lenox Museum Board Edition: Edition of 160, 31 AP, 5 PP, 5 EP, signed with a printed signature and numbered in pencil lower right.
Andy Warhol Moonwalk Portfolio (F & S II.404-405)Meaning & History
Warhol's vividly coloured Moonwalk portrays the historic moonlanding from the perspective of Neil Armstrong. Buzz Aldrin wrote in his autobiography,' I’ve had a few other brushes with pop-culture fame...Lois and I are fortunate enough to have one of Warhol’s ‘Moonwalk’ prints hanging in our home’.
Moonwalk is a portfolio of two screenprints executed by the artist in 1987, created by the celebrated Pop artist in the year of his passing. It was originally intended to be a part of a portfolio entitled The History of TV, and shows Buzz Aldrin with the American flag on the moon. What is unique about the photograph is that the image is not a still from the original recording but a photograph taken by Neil Armstrong. For its late placement and for its use of a never seen before image, the work is outstanding in the artist’s body of screenprints.
In this pair of screenprints, Warhol has coloured the moon landing in a fluorescent eighties palette. Subtly visible in the reflection of Buzz Aldrin’s visor are Andy Warhol’s own initials, adding a playful and personal mark to the original picture. The visual language of Warhol’s Moonwalk is holographic in a way that evokes the real televised nature of the landing. Though the moon landing had of course taken place decades earlier, the time of the suite’s creation in the eighties saw a rise in popular television and the introduction of TV. Space and sci-fi films dominated the film industry and outer-space graphics were popular in design. So late on in the artist’s career, it is fitting that the always forward-looking Pop artist created a work that concerned space exploration. Additionally, as with many of Warhol’s prints the image coalesces both the artist and the subject’s fame, with Buzz Aldrin writing in his autobiography: ‘I’ve had a few other brushes with pop-culture fame...Lois and I are fortunate enough to have one of Warhol’s ‘Moonwalk’ prints hanging in our home’.
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