Wadsworth Atheneum

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Andy Warhol placed American popular imagery at the center of his art. This began in the early 1960's with his reproductions of such mass-produced objects as the Campbell's soup can and the Coca-Cola bottle. In subsequent years, this remained true, even when the artist turned his attention to portraiture. Obsessed with fame in all of its forms, Warhol's work in portraiture equated the human subject with the mechanically-reproduced objects prominent in his earlier work. Concerned primarily with surface appearances, Warhol made little distinction between a soup can and a famous face. For him, both were objects of consumer culture. 

Camouflage Self-Portrait belongs to the final group of self-portraits by the artist, produced in 1986, the year before his sudden death. The work has acquired an added resonance in the years since Warhol's death. Partially disguised by eye-glasses and "hidden" behind camouflage, the artist seems to be disappearing behind the masked persona he has created for himself. In many ways, the painting can be read as a memento mori. With his characteristically stark, emotionless expression and direct confrontation of the viewer, Warhol seems to display a heightened awareness of his own mortality.


Andy Warhol
Born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1928
Died New York City, 1987
Camouflage Self-Portrait , 1986
Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen on canvas
The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner
Collection Fund, 1994.12.1

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1087 days ago

Andy Warhol placed American popular imagery at the center of his art. This began in the early 1960's with his reproductions of such mass-produced objects as the Campbell's soup can and the Coca-Cola bottle. In subsequent years, this remained true, even when the artist turned his attention to portraiture. Obsessed with fame in all of its forms, Warhol's work in portraiture equated the human subject with the mechanically-reproduced objects prominent in his earlier work. Concerned primarily with surface appearances, Warhol made little distinction between a soup can and a famous face. For him, both were objects of consumer culture.

Camouflage Self-Portrait belongs to the final group of self-portraits by the artist, produced in 1986, the year before his sudden death. The work has acquired an added resonance in the years since Warhol's death. Partially disguised by eye-glasses and "hidden" behind camouflage, the artist seems to be disappearing behind the masked persona he has created for himself. In many ways, the painting can be read as a memento mori. With his characteristically stark, emotionless expression and direct confrontation of the viewer, Warhol seems to display a heightened awareness of his own mortality.


Andy Warhol
Born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1928
Died New York City, 1987
Camouflage Self-Portrait , 1986
Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen on canvas
The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner
Collection Fund, 1994.12.1

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