Blog / Warhol Polaroids develop into something big


By Wendy

Andy Warhol probably didn’t think of his Polaroid photographs as art.
He wielded a Polaroid Big Shot camera like other artists use a sketchbook. Many of his photographs served as studies for the more famous big portraits on canvas. Polaroid sketches were for Warhol’s own use; the artist did not give them away to his subjects.
Now those Polaroids taken by Warhol from 1970 to 1987 give us great insight into his work.
Some of the sports celebrities in the Nasher Museum’s exhibition, “Big Shots: Andy Warhol Polaroids” (opening Thursday, November 12) have also turned up in a New York gallery show.

“There is a small gem of a show at Danziger Projects right now, featuring a little-known trove of Polaroids by Andy Warhol of famous athletes,” writes Kathy Ryan in The New York Times blog, “The Moment.” “They were commissioned by one collector in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The simplicity of Warhol’s method — straightforward portraits shot with the Big Shot camera — gives the tiny images (4 1/4″ x 3 3/8″) a purity and sincerity that belies the radiance and aura of greatness coming from the sitters.”

You can read about the Nasher Museum’s “Big Shots” show on, where it’s also listed as one of 20 top shows.

IMAGE: Andy Warhol, “Dorothy Hamill,” 1977. Polacolor Type 108. 4 ¼ x 3 3/8 inches. Lent courtesy of the Ackland Art Museum, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2008. © 2009 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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