Warhol focused on re-creating images with as little use of the artist’s hand as possible as a means of showing objects of popular consumption. Warhol expanded his artistic endeavours to include the infamous
Hollywood legends Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson to name but a few. Warhol used colour and repetition to emphasise the iconic qualities of his portraits. All of the artist’s portraits glowed with the aura of his genius.
In this series Warhol painted a picture of an entire society and invented a new form of artistic production – serial and almost mass produced.
Warhol photographed his subjects and then reproduced the images onto canvas through a silkscreen process. Warhol then retouched them. He said
“I sort of half paint them just to give it a style” Some of the figures he painted were appropriate, given Warhol’s fascination with heroes of popular culture.
His portraits understate reality at the same time as exaggerating it.
They keep the essence of the features that make an image recognisable. There is nothing ornate or elaborate. The images have become iconic.