2.5 х 6 in. (6.35 x 15.24 cm.)
Signed, in black felt tip marker on face of dollar bill.
This unique work on paper is a one-dollar bill dating from 1935, signed across the front by Andy Warhol in black felt tip marker. Throughout his artistic career, Warhol was preoccupied with the iconography of money, often using dollar signs, images of currency, and actual dollar bills in his art. By signing a one dollar bill, Warhol effectively defaced it while also tremendously increasing its value, thus generating a tension between artistic and commercial worth.
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, PA, was an iconic and versatile Pop artist. After studying design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Warhol moved to New York City in 1949 to pursue a career as a commercial artist. Though successful, Warhol wanted to be an independent painter, and in the early 1960s began to create paintings based on advertisement imagery. Shocking to many in its embrace of “low art” and its detachment from emotion, his early work quickly brought him fame; during this early period, he produced the now-infamous series of Campbell’s Soup Cans, Disasters, Electric Chairs, and many celebrity portraits (Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and Elvis Presley were among his subjects), using commercial techniques such as screen printing and stenciling. As his fame grew, Warhol built a studio called The Factory on 47th Street, and gathered a group of eccentrics he called the “Superstars,” with whom he created a number of experimental films, such as Sleep, Chelsea Girls, and Empire; these films were often banned by the police for their vulgarity. In 1968, Valerie Solanas, a former member of Warhol’s entourage, attempted to kill the artist and others outside of The Factory. Narrowly surviving, Warhol withdrew from his bohemian circle and occupied himself in the 1970s creating celebrity portraits, which brought him considerable earnings, but weakened his critical approval. With Gerard Malanga, he also founded Interview Magazine, which is still in print today. In the 1980s, however, Warhol’s work was revitalized by collaborations with younger artists, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, and Keith Haring, and he produced renowned series of paintings such as The Last Supper. Warhol died in 1987 due to complications following an operation.
Selected Public Collections:
Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Musée d'Art Contemporain, Marseille, France
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Tate Modern, London, England
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY