Andy Warhol, ‘Moon Explorer’, 1983, Mark Borghi Fine Art

This "Moon Explorer" comes from a “Toy” series created in 1983. The theme was first suggested to the artist by Zurich gallery-owner Bruno Bischofberger. The artist made a total of thirty-six of known “drawings for children,” most in graphite while two in black acrylic paint. The drawings were then made into smaller paintings, exhibited in Bischofberger’s gallery in 1983 around Christmas, and were published as a 12-full-page color illustrated children’s book. (N.F. Karlins, “Drawing Notebook,” artnet Reviews)
While the drawings are simple linear composition of toys that are “stripped down to their essentials,” the completed paintings and screen prints are full of electric energy. The bright yellow background contrasts with the black robot body and the blue band to the right. The off-alignment of the robot’s red and olive green outlines and the overlapping of different color patches together creates a shivering electric sense of movement that captures one’s visual imagination. This painting is an excellent example of Warhol’s extraordinary creativity and ability to turn a simple image into a visually unforgettable icon.

Signature: Signed and dated verso on the overlap 'Warhol 83'

Martin Lawrence Galleries, Los Angeles
Private collection, Germany, acquired from the above in 1993

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