Andy Warhol 1987
Andy Warhol (1987) is a photographic portrait of the artist Andy Warhol by the controversial American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
About the photograph
The photograph was taken in 1986, shortly before Warhol’s death in February 1987. Later that year it appeared in an exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s work at the Robert Miller Gallery in New York, also the scene of Warhol’s final show during his lifetime.
The two artists had developed a close relationship, and Warhol had himself photographed Mapplethorpe on several occasions.
For the show Mapplethorpe had printed the image onto linen using an old-fashioned platinum printing process, and elaborately framed it with four surrounding silk panels.
A review by Andy Grundberg in the New York Times stated:
“Printed on linen cloth using the archaic platinum process, they are mounted on stretchers, like paintings, and float within frames of thick, black wood. More often than not they are flanked by a panel (sometimes two) of understated but luxurious fabric. The resulting diptychs and triptychs recall Minimalist painting more than they resemble photographs.”
In October 2006 the unique print created for the 1987 exhibition was sold at a Christie’s auction in New York. It was placed up for sale with an estimated value of $200,000 - $300,000, and eventually sold for $643,200 making it one of the most expensive photographs ever sold at auction.