Andy Warhol, ‘Ladies & Gentlemen’, 1975, Caviar20

In the mid-1970's Andy Warhol was arguably in a creative lull. He had produced countless portrait paintings of celebrities, politicians and society characters. Many of these works came about from commissions (rather than inspiration).

Subverting his typical clientele, Warhol sent his sidekick/studio manager Bob Colacello to the roughest, seediest part of NYC to recruit some fresh subjects. Colacello procured Drag Queens from a bar called "The Gilded Grape" at the corner of 8th Avenue and 45th Street. The queens were paid $50 each to have Warhol take polaroid portraits of them.

Using a similar technique as his celebrity portraits, Warhol used the polaroids to first made silkscreen paintings and later that year a series of prints with his favorite images.

This example from the series (F. & S. II. 135) is one of the most iconic and delightful images of the series. At auction it has achieved upwards of $25,000 USD.

Until recently "Ladies & Gentlemen" has been undervalued in the Warhol market. Perhaps because of an ongoing fascination with New York in the late 1970's and a new mainstream interest/respect in Drag, "Ladies & Gentlemen" has become highly desirable in the marketplace.

This is a particularly lovely work, with its confetti motif, it perfectly captures the glamour and pride of not only its subject but the disco era in general.

Additional images available on request.

Signature: Signed, dated 75 and numbered A.P. 3/25 verso by artist

Publisher: Luciano Anselmino, Milan

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