ANDY WARHOL "LADIES & GENTLEMEN" SILKSCREEN, 1975
In the mid-1970's Andy Warhol was arguably in a creative lull. He had produced countless portrait paintings of celebrities, politicians and society characters. Many of these works came about from commissions (rather than inspiration).
Subverting his typical clientele, Warhol sent his sidekick/studio manager Bob Colacello to the roughest, seediest part of NYC to recruit some fresh subjects. Colacello procured Drag Queens from a bar called "The Gilded Grape" at the corner of 8th Avenue and 45th Street. The queens were paid $50 each to have Warhol take polaroid portraits of them.
Using a similar technique as his celebrity portraits, Warhol used the polaroids to first made silkscreen paintings and later that year a series of prints with his favorite images.
This example from the series (F. & S. II. 135) is one of the most iconic and delightful images of the series. At auction it has achieved upwards of $25,000 USD.
Until recently "Ladies & Gentlemen" has been undervalued in the Warhol market. Perhaps because of an ongoing fascination with New York in the late 1970's and a new mainstream interest/respect in Drag, "Ladies & Gentlemen" has become highly desirable in the marketplace.
This is a particularly lovely work, with its confetti motif, it perfectly captures the glamour and pride of not only its subject but the disco era in general.
Additional images available on request.
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Published by Luciano Anselmino, Milan.
Signed, dated 75 and numbered A.P. 3/25 verso by artist
44"H 29"W (work)
49"H 40"W (framed)
Very good condition.