China: Unidentified Women
Gelatin silver print (20.3 x 25.4 cm)
The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program Award, 2008
The Mishkin Gallery
Andy Warhol was an American artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as Pop Art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s. In 1982, Andy Warhol finally arrived in China, a country and culture which had captivated him for over a decade.
In this black and white photograph which he captured on his trip to China, we can see two older white women standing in front of a shopping store. The woman central in the image is trying on a traditional Chinese embroidered pattern coat. Her big and childish smile shows that she enjoys this new experience, even though her slightly stiff body posture implies that she is not sure whether she put it on in the right way. In the bottom right corner appears another woman dressing in a black high-neck sweater with silver hair tied up. While we cannot figure out her exact look, we can tell she is watching what is happening curiously.