Andy Warhol, ‘Giant Panda FS II.295’, 1983, Revolver Gallery

Andy Warhol’s Giant Panda 295 is one screenprint in a series of ten which make up Warhol’s Endangered Species portfolio. The full portfolio includes the African Elephant, the Pine Barrens Tree Frog, the Bald Eagle, the Giant Panda, the Siberian Tiger, the San Francisco Silverspot, the Orangutan, Grevy’s Zebra, the Black Rhinoceros and the Bighorn Ram.

In 1983, Warhol was commissioned by his friend and publisher, Ron Feldman and his wife Freyda, to create the Endangered Species series. Both Freyda and Ron were celebrated political activists and involved philanthropists. In 1983, they asked Warhol, whom they had grown somewhat close to, if he would create a portfolio of ten endangered animals in order to raise awareness. After its completion, Warhol fondly referred to this series as “animals in makeup,” given the bold, popart colors he used to portray the animals as larger than life.

About Andy Warhol

Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.

American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York