In his lifetime, Andy Warhol was a prolific artist with many mediums and techniques at his disposal. When it comes to prints he was best known for his Myths and Endangered Species Portfolios. He used this technique to create some of his most iconic images like Campbell's Soup Cans, Marilyn Monroe, and even Elvis Presley. His creative process was simple enough to be understood by anyone who wanted to do their own work. In fact, he taught classes on how to make these types of artworks from start to finish. Today, there are still people who try to replicate his style and creativity in their artwork.
Andy Warhol "Myths" Portfolio
Andy Warhol's 1981 "Myths" series is one of Warhol's most sought-after and wanted series of prints. The series contains 10 silkscreens and each silkscreen contains a different variety of fictional characters. The important characters conceived in this series include - Santa Claus, Superman, Mickey Mouse, The Star, Dracula, Howdy Doody, Uncle Sam, The Shadow, The Witch, and Mammy. The following is a collection of silkscreen images created by Andy Warhol that feature fictional characters. They are all unique works of art that have become quite famous over time. This portfolio will include his version of each fictional character that he created.
Andy Warhol's Santa Claus is the first excerpt we are going to learn about. Santa Claus is based off of a fictional character from the typical folkloric tradition that explains St. Nicholas goes from families residence to another delivering gifts gifts to children the night of Christmas. Santa Claus has become such a popular figure and has become iconic in today's children. Santa Claus is a household name today. This Andy Warhol Santa Claus was taken from a polaroid in a department store at the time. It impressive to think that Mr. Warhol was able to craft such detail to an image taken in a department store. Warhol was truly an expert in his field.
This silkscreen is personally my favorite of the bunch. The vibrant colors and one of my favorite super heroes Superman! Superman is an iconic figure that originally comes from Comic books and has been a superhero for YEARS. One of the oldest superheroes ever created that is still a huge name today. The usual image of Superman pictured is shown with him in his blue and red uniform and suggests that we have caught him in the middle of his movement to get to the sky to fly.
Also known as the Man of Steel, Superman is the ultimate figure of perfectionism in today's world. He is represented by justice, truth, hope, and loyalty. Superman's story is not a story of greed or taking over. He represents the human people. Although he is a demi god compared to most super heroes, he does not use his powers towards malice behavior.
Clark Kent has been described from Batman as "In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all". Superman is the epitome of the human race and is a very moral person. Clark Kent's believes that murdering anyone under any circumstance is flat out wrong. It is believed that his childhood in the Midwest very well contributes to this belief as he was raised to always try to do the right thing.
With this portrait of Superman, Warhol captured the modern imagination of what Superman was and his godlike figure. The moment this superhero was shown to the world, he became a solidified figure. At the time he was on television shows, radio stations, and cartoon and comic book series. He is even thriving today many years later as an iconic figure and loved by the people.
Warhol understood America was at a low point when he created this and understood the important Superman had in the American culture. He believed that it would inspire people to not be so down and have hope. Superman is truly a nostalgic representation of the United States.
Next up on Warhol's Myth series/portfolio is Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is one of Disney's most iconic cartoon character that was created by the Walt Disney in 1928. Mickey Mouse stands out without a doubt in this Warhol Myths collection as one of the more iconic images. Mickey Mouse was very popular at the time of this Warhol creation and is probably one of the more iconic images of this portfolio. Mickey Mouse is still an iconic image today and holds a special place in many of the human races hearts as Disney is a world class tourist spot for many people.
The work that Warhol created of Mickey Mouse shows him in his signature stance, with a smiling face and the typical image that comes into your mind when you think of Mickey Mouse. Mickey is highlighted by colorful pink and gold outlines that bring attention to Mickey's enormous ears. Andy Warhol's Mickey Mouse creations are part of Warhol's top 10 most valuable prints ever sold.
The Star is the next topic of Warhol's Myth portfolio. The Star is considered by many, one of the best of the Myths to be created. She represented everything that Warhol adored - Celebrity, wealth , and a beauty all in one. The astonishing portrait of Greta Garbo remains one of the favorites with worldwide collectors. It is also the only other portrait of an actual person (The other being a portrait of Warhol which we will get to). The Star depicts Mata Hari as a character in a movie as a Dutch spy who was killed for her involvement with the German Army during World War 1.
Greta Garbo was regarded as one of the greatest and influential actresses of all time. She was known for her melancholy, subtle persona due to the myriad of roles she played in films. Warhol adored this actress specifically. Warhol's expert use of color and distinguished use of lines shows the actress confidently stares into the eyes of the viewer. Truly an impressive piece from this portfolio collection of Andy Warhol.
The Witch is portrayed by Margaret Hamilton, the actress of played the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz 1939 movie. Andy Warhol invited Margaret Hamilton to his studio to recreate the iconic frightening pose. Warhol highlighted Margaret Hamilton's clothes and hat with colorful green and red outlines. The Witch is one of 10 different screenprints in the Myth's portfolio. It represented a strong sense of Warhol's powerful motifs. Each character presented in the Myth's portfolio is separated from reality showcasing a different part of Warhol's personality including this Witch.
Andy Warhol's Dracula was created when he produced a film titled "Blood for Dracula" directed by Paul Morrissey in 1974. The film showcases gay sex and a large portion of the film is dedicated to violence. The film has become a classic in today's day and age.
The print showcases a portrait of Dracula with bright pink highlights with a dark black background. Warhol has been interested in Dracula since 1974 when he created the film. Each piece in Warhol's Myth series represents a part of his personality and how he perceived himself including this dangerous character titled "Dracula".
Andy Warhol's Howdy Doody was a freckle-faced character in the children's television show 'Howdy Doody'. This television show aired all the way from the 1940s-1960s and included circus and other themes in the show. This image is based on a reproduction photograph that Warhol took. Warhol was fascinated by anything about fame, wealth, and glamour. This describes why Howdy Doody was photographed and created since this show was a very big hit in the 1950s. This is one of Warhol's works in which he attempts to make it as intricate as possible.
The art is presented in a cartoon-like form appealing more to children of the time. Most of the children during this time are more grown up now and appreciate Warhol's depiction of Howdy Doody. This specific print incorporates a lot of America's history all into one image of a cartoon character.
Andy Warhol's Uncle Sam was created to portray the American country at the time. Warhol created his own persona of the US in this Uncle Sam screenprint. At the time of this creation, the American government and US were at a dominant spot. Warhol portrayed the universal view of America's captivating and commanding past. Uncle Sam was a patriotic hero and a symbol of patriotic emotion. Uncle Sam first appeared in the war 1812.
Andy Warhol's 'The Shadow' impressively inserts himself into the collection of American icons during the creation of the Warhol Myths Portfolio. In the portfolio, Warhol created a lot of iconic figures during the 20th century and impressively puts himself into that collection with this image which boasted his popularity of himself and this portfolio set. Ever since Warhol created this image, he instantly elevated himself to a mythical status in today's day. This was a genius move by Mr. Warhol. Andy Warhol has always been fascinated with self portrait images, he has a whole collection of photographs, polaroids, and many more images of himself.
This image focuses on the shadow more than the artist himself. The idea of this image is that during this time, people are more obsessed with the idea of Warhol rather that who he is as a person. That is why the main focus of the image is the shadow to represent this ironic awareness.
Andy Warhol's Mammy was first showcased in Harriet Beecher Stow's "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Mammy has transformed into a massively mythologized character that is seen by many as a positive maternal figure, the same way Andy Warhol has portrayed her in this image. He chose her to represent the intricate and developed narrative of American Pop culture. Mammy has been seen in other movies including Gone With the Wind (1939) and cartoons like Tom and Jerry (1940).
The Myths portfolio is a vast collection representing many different aspects of Andy Warhol and American pop culture at the time of these creations. The Myths portfolio is a set collection of 10 limited edition screen-prints that are super rare and diverse.