Object Details




Andy Warhol (American, 1928 - 1987)




United States (Place created)




Polaroid dye diffusion print


Sheet: 81.9 x 55.9 cm (32 1/4 x 22 in.)


© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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In 1979 the Polaroid Corporation invited Andy Warhol to make portraits in its Cambridge, Massachusetts, studio, where the prototype of a new 20 x 24-inch camera that weighed eight hundred pounds and could produce color photographs in sixty seconds had been set up. The bulky apparatus could not easily be moved for compositional changes; it had to remain stationary while the subject was arranged. Then, when all was ready, Polaroid's technician was on hand to operate it. In spite of these restrictions, Warhol seems to have had fun making more than ten portraits--most of them self-portraits.

Warhol made four extreme close-up self-portraits with the new camera in a single day, including this one. He seems to have quickly understood that he had to get very close to the enormous camera, to confront it almost, thus making a larger-than-life-size portrait that exploited the camera's unusual potential. He gazed upward and away from the lens, leaving the left side of his face in deep shadow. These elements emphasize and abstract the simple highlighted lines of his face.

- 1998

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts New York, NY, U.S.

Nadar/Warhol: Paris/New York (July 20, 1999 to May 28, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 1999
  • The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), November 6, 1999 to January 30, 2000
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore), March 12 to May 28, 2000
Images of the Artist (November 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012

Baldwin, Gordon, and Judith Keller. Nadar Warhol: Paris New York: Photography and Fame. Introduction by Richard Brilliant. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999), p. 216.