Self-portrait in Drag

Object Details

Title:

Self-portrait in Drag

Artist/Maker(s):

Andy Warhol (American, 1928 - 1987)

Culture:

American

Place(s):

United States (Place created)

Date:

1981 - 1982

Medium:

Polaroid dye diffusion print

Dimensions:

9.5 x 7.3 cm (3 3/4 x 2 7/8 in.)

Copyright:

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

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Andy Warhol enjoyed dressing for parties in drag, sometimes in dresses of his own design. He admired "the boys who spend their lives trying to be complete girls," so in 1981 he and a photographic assistant, Christopher Makos, agreed to collaborate on a session portraying Warhol in drag. In many ways, they modeled the series on Man Ray's 1920s work with the French artist Marcel Duchamp, in which the two artists created a female alter ego name Rrose Sélavy for Duchamp.

Warhol and Makos made a number of pictures, both black-and-white prints and color Polaroids, of their first attempt. For the second round of pictures, they hired a theater makeup person. This stage professional better understood the challenge of transforming a man's face into that of a woman. After the makeup, Warhol tried on curled, straight, long, short, dark, and blonde wigs. Here he appears in a conventionally masculine white shirt and plaid tie.

Exhibitions
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
The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation (April 12, 2013 to March 23, 2014)
  • Vassar College Francis Loeb Art Center, (Poughkeepsie), April 12 to June 30, 2013
  • Norton Museum of Art, (West Palm Beach), December 19, 2013 to March 23, 2014
Bibliography

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. 192.