Andy Warhol, ‘Kimiko (FS II.237)’, 1981, Revolver Gallery

Kimiko 237 is a print that was published to help fundraise for the Visual Arts Program at Colorado State University, which sponsored visiting artists and exhibitions.

The original portrait was commissioned by Kimiko Powers, but the image shown above was a version used to advertise Warhol’s Colorado State University show. This image was an edition of two hundred and fifty prints published to raise funds for a visual arts program sponsoring artists and exhibitions. It features Kimiko Powers, an art collector. Popularized in international art circles in the 1960s, Kimiko and her husband, John, amassed one of the most comprehensive private collection of pop art. This perhaps led to her friendship with famous artists such as Andy Warhol. This was also around the time in the 1970s when Warhol began to regularly accept commissions to paint portraits of the rich and famous because he thought that everyone deserved their “15 minutes.” This portrait captures Kimiko wearing a traditional Japanese dress, glancing at the observer, suggestively Warhol, in an intimate manner. It captures the often unexamined bond between the artist and the collector.

Signature: Edition of 250, 50 AP, signed and numbered in pencil on verso.

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