(Research and analysis, by Khatia Shiuka)
Andy Warhol's Last Self-Portrait (1986)
I want to die with my blue jeans on. (Andy Warhol)
Andy Warhol was the great portrait painter of the 20th Century. Warhol’s late self-portraits are stained by an uncomfortable preoccupation with death and mortality.
Warhol's self-portraits that he created throughout his career reveal an underlying theme of performance. By using repetitive images, each slightly different to the next, he produces the illusion of movement. Last self - portraits created towards the end of his life in 1986 displays the artist in his signature fright wig; and makes dramatic use of shadow and light. This work is also a good example of Warhol's use of the combination of photography, silkscreen, and painting.
Tate Liverpool, 2014 presents red silkscreen image of Warhol emblazoned like a single and dramatic paint-splash over the black void of the canvas, this Self-Portrait is an imposing, haunting and ultimately poignant work from Warhol's great last series of self-portraits. One of what is believed to be only five versions; blue, green, yellow and here in The Tate Liverpool red one, made on this monumental scale, this vast but simple, even in some ways minimalist, image of the artist's famous but time-worn face peering tentatively out from under the wild - noise hair with noisy red colour on a black background. Warhol's instantly-recognizable 'fright-wig' is 20 century's one of the great self-portrait. A comparatively rare self-exposure, the painting is a typically seamless fusion of painting and photography within one instantly unique and unforgettable and icon image. it is also, like so many artists' late self-portraits throughout history, a timeless portrait of a visibly aging master confronting the inevitability of his own imminent disappearance from the light of existence, in death, this last series of self-portraits are among the most iconic, moving and ultimately profound works of his entire career. Among the very last paintings he executed before he did indeed suffer a premature and unexpected death - following complications that arose after a routine operation on his gall bladder in February 1987.
Andy Warhol made these self-portraits in the spring of 1986 for an exhibition to be held at the Anthony D' Offay Gallery in London between July and August that year. This series of self-portraits have consequently gained a prescience and an uncanny sense of timeliness that has done much to reinforce the legend of Warhol as a modern-day seer. The 'somewhat unearthly, and terrifying oracle' as Calvin Tomkins once described him, who 'made visible what was happening in some part to us all', seems here, in these works, to be foreseeing intimations of his own death.
Gaunt features isolated against a black background and staring wild-dark -eyed directly at the viewer, present, more than any of their many predecessors, a portrait not merely of Warhol the man but also of Warhol the icon and phenomenon; “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There's nothing behind It." said Warhol. Nowhere perhaps, is this better demonstrated than in these last self-portraits where the artist consciously and openly presented himself as an artificial construct staring bleakly out of and also into the void, nakedly exposing the strange creation he had become and his profound awareness of his own encroaching mortality. No artist was to reflect this mood more than Warhol. In addition, by the time he came to make these self-portraits Warhol's own self-image had itself become a kind of death-mask. On the picture Warhol seems to be imploring the viewer to let him go now: his time has come. His face and nose had been altered and his skin was powdered and pasted with numerous creams and cosmetics that he carried with him everywhere. He fiercely aware of his own vanity as he struggled against the natural aging process.
The self- portrait is based on photograph of Warhol wearing a black polo neck sweater which disappeared when placed against the black background. Taking in his paintings of skulls and morbid shadows and also his self-portraits with skulls or as a shadow, it is in these last, simpler, and in some ways less morbid, self-portraits that this pervasive sense of the ever-presence of death has been fused with the manifest artifice of Warhol's own features into a kind of Pop art death-mask, he was indeed, at this time keenly aware of his own mortality. It had played a major role in his life ever since his fatal shooting in his studio in 1968 by feminist woman writer Valerie Solanas who was author of the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men) then Warhol had in fact died for a moment on the operating table. But since 1980, a seemingly increasing number of friends and colleagues around him had died.
Andy Warhol's last self - portrait is a bit confusing to me, portrait has had not only a demonic aspect but reminded me more of a death mask with a hypnotic intensity as his Factory friend and colleague Brigid Berlin recalled, Andy was keen for people to 'take more control of their lives' to, learn to see their 'lives as movies, and to star and direct them'. 'People need' he poignantly said, 'to be made more aware of the need to work at learning how to live because life is so quick and sometimes it goes away too quickly.
Self-Portrait showing Warhol with the less upright hair is of the type that D' Offay preferred and which formed the basis of the exhibition in London. Exhibition was in London during Warhol's lifetime. I've had watched incredible historical short video interview of Andy warhol., Where author represented himself as a alive portrait. In video Interview you can see Warhol's living last self - portrait, which will tell you nothing and on the other hand will tell you everything.
Andy Warhol's Last Self - portrait,1986 some spectators interpreted the pictures as a 'Memento Mori' ( (Remember death K. S) they were so overcome by the combination of the morbid grandeur in the pictures and the rare presence of the artist himself at the exhibition, that they were moved to tears, and when Andy Warhol was asked why he was doing the exhibitions, he would reply quite cynical: "I've kinda run out of money." When asked why he was doing self-portraits, he would say: "I've kinda run out of ideas."
'I don't like looking at myself. It's hard to look at yourself. This is just weird stuff. If it wasn't me in the pictures the exhibition would be great,' Warhol said.
'Melancholy introspection' like the 'great late self-portraits of Rembrandt and Van Gogh' while also later pointing out that the works also betrayed a pervasive 'mood of both personal and public retrospection'
Warhol had in fact also laid himself bare, bravely offering up one of his most open, undisguised and unmanipulated self-depictions. Though they were in one respect, once again portraits of a 'mirror looking into the mirror', as he once observed, the 1986 self-portraits are really little more than photographic silkscreen representations of the spectral and mask-like figure he had turned himself into in life. In many ways Andy Warhol was his own art, and as he said; ‘art should be for everyone’.
The Banksy's Cardinal Sin and I, at the Walker Art gallery.
The Banksy's Cardinal Sin sculpture was unveiled at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England. It has been controversially placed near 17th Century religious art that include large church altarpieces and other religious pieces. The Cardinal sin is a portrait too, a portrait sculpture which represents many things such as the ideas of merit, immortality and religion. Banksy sums it up quite eloquently in one sentence: "I'm never sure who deserves to be put on a pedestal or crushed under one." In this case, he has blurred the lines between these two outcomes by taking a classic bust and making the identity of the poser anonymous by placing a pixelated mask over the face. Banksy made The Cardinal Sin few years ago when the "Child abuse cases’ reported out in many countries including in The Roman Catholic church.
Banksy like Andy Warhol used mask, also both portraits the faces are defaced, however between that two mask is a huge difference. The Banksy's Cardinal is defaced by inhuman sins, when Andy Warhol's last self - portrait is about fright, disappearance, being and 'nothingness.