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This staged portrait of an attack hovers between absurd and sinister. Always extraordinarily conscious of his self-image, here Warhol adopts a not altogether convincing expression of surprise. His role as victim sits oddly with his position as creator of the image. This sense of simultaneously asserting and relinquishing control is echoed by the contrast between the sharp silkscreen reproduction of six identical photo-booth style images, and the apparently instinctive application of coloured paint. The title suggests that the genre of self-portraiture itself may be the intended victim.

March 2010