Online caption

Warhol drew and painted self-portraits since he was a teenager. He was dissatisfied, to the point of obsession, with the way he looked and was very careful with the way he both presented himself artistically and marketed his image. In these six works (displayed as a group) he shows himself seemingly in a life-threatening situation. The hands of an unseen assailant strangle him, while his eyes are directed heavenward rather like a martyred saint. The predominantly dark colours, some partly obscuring his head, as well as the ‘expressionist’ brushwork, give the paintings a distinctly ominous feel. Warhol was shot and critically injured in 1968 and, although death was a recurring theme in his work since the early 1960s, this experience heightened his fears about dying.