Andy Warhol, ‘Rats and Star (FS 11B.21)’, 1983, Revolver Gallery

Warhol started working on the original print as a commission for an album cover for the Japanese band The Chanels, who were embroiled in a copyright battle over their name with French fashion brand Chanel. The name Rats and Star 21 utilizes the fact that Rats is a palindrome for Star, which reflected the band members’ life story. Rats was the term used to define the poor living conditions that the band endured while growing up in the less affluent areas of Tokyo. Their story of rags to riches and eventual pop stardom suggested that even rats could become stars, a notion close to Warhol’s heart as the son of working-class immigrants.

Signature: The print is stamped with Estate of Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc stamps will accompany the work, or when the work is a signed and numbered edition print.

Bought from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Sold with a Certificate of Provenance, indicating the work originates from the Estate of Andy Warhol, and thence, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Christie’s will maintain a database of these purchases which will be used to substantiate provenance in the future and supply relevant information to the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné.

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