Andy Warhol: Sarah Bernhardt

“I’ve never met a person I couldn’t call a beauty,” Andy Warhol famously wrote in 1975. Indeed, Warhol’s silkscreen portraits are almost always idealized, portraying his subject’s features in simplified, colorful shapes. Muses for Warhol’s iconic portraits include the actresses Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ingrid Bergman; the musicians Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger, and Aretha Franklin; the political figures John F. Kennedy, Chairman Mao, and Queen Elizabeth; and the New York socialites Olga Berde Mahl, Cindy Pritzker, and Georges Marciano. In addition to his celebrity portraits, Warhol also produced a number of self-portraits. Created just months before his death, his Fright Wig (1986) self-portraits are perhaps the most famous example, capturing the artist with a shocked expression staring at the viewer. The series is also among Warhol’s top auction highlights, surpassing $30 million in a Christie’s sale in 2018.