Andy Warhol, ‘MYTHS: II.267: THE SHADOW’, 1981, Grove Fine Art

Printed by Rupert Jasen Smith, NY.
The Shadow FS II 267 is a tremendous self-portrait that is part of 10 screenprints in the Myths series of 1981; that exemplify Warhol’s unerring sense for the powerful motifs of his time. Most of images in Warhol’s Myths series are taken from 1950s television or old Hollywood films. They portray the universal view of America’s once captivating and commanding past. Other pieces included in the series are beloved American characters such as Mickey Mouse, Howdy Doody, Superman and Santa Claus, as well as fictional figures like Dracula, The Wicked Witch of the West, and Uncle Sam. The Shadow was a fictional radio crime fighter from Warhol’s childhood during the 1930s, before his stories were developed into a comic-strip. In each episode, a crime-fighting detective disappeared as soon as his good deed was accomplished, leaving only his shadow. In the piece above, Warhol himself portrays the hero, and as he glances toward the viewer, a strong nearby light casts his profile in a long, dramatic, and darkened shadow. This self-portrait is based on a photograph of Warhol as this character. For other prints in the series Warhol had models dress up as different characters but for this photo, which was a basis for the print, he dispense with The Shadow’s black cloak, broad-rimmed hat and red scarf and simply had himself photographed with a strong, cast shadow of his profile as a result from lighting. Warhol then made a simple, stylized line drawing based on this image. Warhol identified with this character which had no substance. As he said in 1967: “If you want to know about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.”

Signature: Hand signed and numbered in pencil.

Publisher: Published by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc., NY.

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