Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross)Artwork Factory
The work on paper is composed of several layers of images: the print based on a portrait photo, a transparency, colored paper and tape. Andy Warhol assembles the portrait of an unknown person using a so-called collage technique. The figure looks at us with captivating eyes in a strong pose.
The work is based on Polaroid photographs by Andy Warhol. Wilhelmina Ross—the photo model—chose which photo would become the artwork. Andy Warhol transferred this photo by means of screen printing onto transparent film and used shreds of paper placed underneath to stage her once again.
What did he emphasize in particular?
Wilhelmina Ross staged herself, posed and radiated self-confidence. She did this privately and professionally. Born in the body of a man, she lived as a woman and delighted her audience as a drag queen on stage.
Self-dramatization was an important topic for Andy Warhol. He loved posing for the camera, putting on make-up, wearing wigs and taking pictures of himself as a woman.
The way a self, person, or social group presents itself to others is behind self-dramatization. It is about changing the visibility and social influence of the desired self-presentation.
For whom can such strategies be of great importance?
Andy Warhol’s “Ladies and Gentlemen” are doubly discriminated against: as queer people and people of color. Man, woman, or diverse? Black and white thinking or colorful pop or political?
What position does the successful Andy Warhol take in this situation?
Talk about it
Andy Warhol paid compensation of $50 for the photo; he sold the artwork for a much higher price. Is that fair?
Which prevails: Empowerment or exploitation?