Before Warhol was Warhol, there was Duchamp. In fact Andy Warhol (1928-1987), the arbiter of Pop Art and cool, was greatly influenced by Duchamp’s ready-made concept and redefinition of art. He was the high priest of engaging “ready-made” objects, perhaps photos, with the finer mechanics of art such as acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas; which dominated his oeuvre. Among his seminal works is this four-paneled self-portrait aptly titled Self-Portrait (1963-1964). It was created with picture stamps from a photobooth—an object or a machine everyone presumably had access to. In the process of democratizing the process of producing art, Warhol both paid homage to Duchamp, and charted art into the terrain of massmedia, self-aggrandizement and machine-like/machine induced immortality. Perhaps Facebook would not have existed had Warhol not become Warhol.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Self-Portrait, Sale 2440 / LOT 22, selling $20,000,000 - $30,000,000 at Christies
11 May 2011
New York, Rockefeller Plaza (Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale)