Mammy, Trial Proof, 1981
38 x 38 inches (96.5 x 96.5 cm.)
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Andy Warhol, the leading figure of the 1960s Pop Art avant-garde movement, is now one of the most acclaimed figures of the 20th century. He was a highly skilled multidisciplinary artist, debuting as a commercial illustrator, who originated controversial and necessary conversations on the value of fine versus commercial art. Warhol was a pop culture lover, obsessed with consumer goods, celebrities and advertising, using every day subject matter to depict a portrait of the America of his time. In his artistic career, the ‘70s are known for his renewed interest in social events and portraitures, moving progressively away from his commercial subject matter.
Mammy is part of Warhol’s iconic Myths series, portraying famous fictional characters from American film, history and culture like Dracula or Superman. Exceptionally, this trial proof is not based on a specific and recognizable figure, but rather an amalgamation of archetypes found in popular mythology, movies and books. Warhol’s Mammy has become a generally embraced positive image of a maternal black woman.