Inspired by the portraits that Man Ray photographed of Marcel Duchamp’s alter ego, Rrose Sélavy, Andy Warhol created a series of drag self-portraits. Always questioning the conventions of constructed identity, Warhol donned a wig and bold makeup, subverting traditional gender expectations and paying homage to the artists before him.
Self-Portrait in Drag, 1981
Gelatin silver print
Image: 3.5 x 2.25 in. (8.89 x 5.72 cm.)
Sheet: 4.25 x 3.4 in. (10.8 x 8.64 cm.)
American Pop Art icon Andy Warhol (1928–1987) was known for taking photographic portraits of his many friends in and outside of the art world. The photographic medium was critical to Warhol’s artistic production, and he brought his camera with him wherever he went. His photographic oeuvre reads like today’s ubiquitous social media photo streams and provides a fascinating look into the life of an enigmatic figure whose influence on the art world, and society as a whole, is unparalleled. Playing with the notions of identity, perception, and one’s public versus private self, Warhol also took many poignant self-portraits, often in drag, as seen here.
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