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MYTHS: THE SHADOW FS II.267 – Andy Warhol

From the Myths Portfolio. Published by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc., NY. Printed by Rupert Jasen Smith, NY. Hand signed and numbered in pencil. Artwork is in excellent condition. Certificate of Authenticity included. 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.”

Medium: Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board with Diamond Dust

Dimensions: 38 x 38 inches

Year: 1981

Edition: Of 200

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Andy Warhol, a leading figure in Pop Art, created vibrant works reflecting the consumer-driven culture of the mid-20th century. Known for iconic images like Campbell’s Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe portraits, Warhol used mass-production techniques, challenging traditional art boundaries. His work blurs the line between high art and popular culture, impacting contemporary art and shaping discussions on celebrity and consumerism.

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