Single $ by Andy Warhol (Yellow)
Warhol’s Dollar Signs are brazen, perhaps even insolent reminders that pictures by brand-name artists are metaphors for money, a situation that never bothered him.
Single $ by Andy Warhol
The subject of ‘Dollar Bills’ had provided the motif for Warhol’s breakthrough series of 1961, which in turn had prompted his revolutionary exploration of the silkscreen process for creating his paintings. Twenty years on Warhol revisited the subject of money, this time focussing on the elegant curvilinear form of the dollar sign itself. Unlike the monochromatic and static 1961 ‘Dollar Bill’ paintings, Warhol’s 1981 ‘Dollar Signs’ pulsated with vibrant hues, layered energy, as if celebrating the artist’s mastery over his adopted medium.
With its striking colours and rhythmic repetition of the single $ motif, Dollar Sign epitomises Andy Warhol’s singular artistic vision, one that would surprise and captivate in the 1980s and has continued to do so more than three decades later.
More than twenty years after his death, Andy Warhol remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture. Warhol’s life and work inspires creative thinkers worldwide thanks to his enduring imagery, his artfully cultivated celebrity, and the ongoing research of dedicated scholars. His impact as an artist is far deeper and greater than his one prescient observation that “everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” His omnivorous curiosity resulted in an enormous body of work that spanned every available medium and most importantly contributed to the collapse of boundaries between high and low culture.
His artistic practice soon intersected with all aspects of popular culture, in some cases long before it would become truly popular. He co-founded Interview Magazine; appeared on television in a memorable episode of The Love Boat; painted an early computer portrait of singer Debbie Harry; designed Grammy-winning record covers for The Rolling Stones; signed with a modeling agency; contributed short films to Saturday Night Live; and produced Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes and Andy Warhol’s TV, his own television programs for MTV and cable access. He also developed a strong business in commissioned portraits, becoming highly sought after for his brilliantly-colored paintings of politicians, entertainers, sports figures, writers, debutantes and heads of state. His paintings, prints, photographs and drawings of this time include the important series, Skulls, Guns, Camouflage, Mao, and The Last Supper.