About Face. Andy Warhol Portraits

The most widely admired paintings by Andy Warhol—and the most reviled—are his portraits. About Face, which accompanies an exhibition organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum, presents the first overview of Warhol’s portraiture to embrace all periods and media. “About face” refers both to Warhol’s fascination with images of the human face and to his characteristic method of reversal. For example, Warhol reverses the portraitist’s goal to capture the essence of a subject’s individuality in his factory production of “Warhol portraits.” His portraits are about the creation of faces (as the public masks onto which identity is projected) rather than the revealing of a “true” self. Warhol’s portraits, which reveal the artificial aspects of public identity, initiate a “democracy” of fame and beauty, where everyone has superstar potential. Nicholas Baume’s essay shows how Warhol’s career-long interest in the representation of people, including himself, marks a radical departure from the humanist portrait tradition. In his essay on the pre-Pop shoe collages and male portraits, Richard Meyer looks at Warhol’s complex and camp rethinking of gender, sexuality, and portraiture throughout the 1950s. Douglas Crimp focuses on Warhol’s portrait-related film Blow Job, offering an alternative to the accepted interpretation of the underground classic as voyeuristic. The book contains a number of images published for the first time, including newly made stills from films of the 1960s and videos of the 1980s.

Text: Baume Nicholas, Meyer Richard et al. pp. 128; 80 ill. COL; paperback. Publisher: M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, 1999.

ISBN: 9780262522724| 0262522721

ID: AM-4690

Product Description

The most widely admired paintings by Andy Warhol—and the most reviled—are his portraits. About Face, which accompanies an exhibition organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum, presents the first overview of Warhol’s portraiture to embrace all periods and media. “About face” refers both to Warhol’s fascination with images of the human face and to his characteristic method of reversal. For example, Warhol reverses the portraitist’s goal to capture the essence of a subject’s individuality in his factory production of “Warhol portraits.” His portraits are about the creation of faces (as the public masks onto which identity is projected) rather than the revealing of a “true” self. Warhol’s portraits, which reveal the artificial aspects of public identity, initiate a “democracy” of fame and beauty, where everyone has superstar potential. Nicholas Baume’s essay shows how Warhol’s career-long interest in the representation of people, including himself, marks a radical departure from the humanist portrait tradition. In his essay on the pre-Pop shoe collages and male portraits, Richard Meyer looks at Warhol’s complex and camp rethinking of gender, sexuality, and portraiture throughout the 1950s. Douglas Crimp focuses on Warhol’s portrait-related film Blow Job, offering an alternative to the accepted interpretation of the underground classic as voyeuristic. The book contains a number of images published for the first time, including newly made stills from films of the 1960s and videos of the 1980s.