Andy Warhol, ‘Helen/Harry Morales’, 1975, CFHILL
Andy Warhol, ‘Helen/Harry Morales’, 1975, CFHILL

Andy Warhol sent assistants to the Gilded Grape, a bar on Eighth Avenue and 45th Street, to recruit models for a series on drag queens eventually titled "Ladies and Gentlemen." The men who responded were not told the artist's name and were paid fifty dollars per half-hour to pose for Warhol's Polaroid camera. More than ten drag queens responded, and Warhol produced painted portraits as well as screen prints from the sittings. The portrait of Helen/Harry Morales was not one of the ten images used in the final portfolio; Warhol did, however, use it as an image screened in black chalk over muted shades of green, orange, and blue-gray acrylic on a small canvas.

Series: Ladies and Gentlemen

Signature: Stamped by The Estate of Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Foundation on the overlap, further numbered '62-36-2354' on the stretcher

Coskun Fine Art, London, "Celebrity Portraits", June 25–July 22, 2008

Coskun Fine Art, London
Phillips, London, Contemporary Art Day Sale, 15 October 2015, Lot 177

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, PA, United States, based in New York, NY, United States