S otheby’s is thrilled to present works from the collection of Dee and Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy Hilfiger, a celebrated designer of the American aesthetic, has been a longtime collector of Pop Art, inspired by his love of pop culture. It is thus fitting that many of the lots featured in this sale are prints by Andy Warhol, the iconic artist who helped define contemporary American culture. Tommy once said that Andy, for him, embodied “FAME: fashion, art, music, entertainment” and perhaps there is no better summation of Warhol’s body of work and the lifestyle he sought to create. Hilfiger has been quick to cite Warhol as an inspiration and it is easy to see a connection between POP ART and FASHION as both are born from consumerism both and harness our imaginations, offering a showcase for all things popular, for every personality.
By 1975, Andy Warhol was a beloved artist celebrated within society while the Rolling Stones were an adored fixture on both the music charts and the social scene. Mick Jagger inhabited the fame and glamour that Warhol lent to his subjects, so naturally a collaboration of the two luminaries was a great success. Warhol’s portfolio of ten screenprints portrayed Jagger in a myriad of positions, quite unlike his previous portraits of Marilyn Monroe or Chairman Mao which varied in color scheme but repeated the identical frontal pose. Also, for the first time, Warhol’s source material was his own, as the images are based on photographs the artist himself took of the singer rather than appropriating a publicity still or a book cover. Although it became a signature aesthetic of Warhol to employ blocks of color and freeform drawing, the elements of collage and sketched features lent a sense of movement to the images that echoed the energy Jagger brought to every stage performance.
Andy Warhol famously made a name for himself first within the fashion world, as a designer of department store window displays and then in the art world, as a purveyor of the everyday item. He rendered celebrities as attainable as a product on your supermarket shelf and elevated the status of a soup can to that of a superstar. Nearly two decades into a career of equalizing the glamour quotient of objects found in every home with faces seen in every magazine, Warhol bestowed his signature sparkle on footwear. The 1980 screenprint portfolio, SHOES, illustrates mismatched heels, haphazardly scattered across each sheet just as they would be thrown on the closet floor, but Warhol makes them the subject, hurls them into the spotlight and showers them with diamond dust. The shoes are celebrated, they are the point, lending sincerity to the words spoken by one of Warhol’s most noted muses, Marilyn Monroe who once said “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”