Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Andy Warhol and his Barbie Portrait

I was just rereading one my favorite books, Forever Barbie "the unauthorized biography of a real doll", by M.G. Lord. In it she mentions this portrait, commissioned by Mattel's then queen-bee Jill Barad in 1985.

Apparently Warhol was not happy with the portrait. Lord quotes from his diary entry on the day of the unveiling "The portrait looks so bad, I don't like it" he wrote "the Mattel president said he couldn't wait to see it and I just cringed" Poor Andy, you can see the discomfort on his face in this Life Photo.

7 comments:

Ming said...

I have never seen this before! I can't believe it's not more famous. Maybe because he didn't like it though...

Anonymous artlover said...

YAY! I'm doing an assignment on Andy Warhol - now I have something noone else does to show my teacher!! YAY AGAIN! Thanks for posting this!!

anonymous artlover said...

I'm doing an art assignment on Andy Warhol, amd now I'll have something noone else will to show!! YAY!!
I don't know why this isn't more famous...it kinda sums up Warhol's whole ethos.

Anonymous said...

Jill did not commission this work, M.G Lord should have done her research better. Jill ordered a copy from Warhol after he gave, as a gift, the original in "BillyBoy* Blue" to BillyBoy*, who still owns it. It was called "Portrait of BillyBoy" though it depicts a Barbie doll.Andy hated Barbie and hated Mattel....he charged them a fortune to have the copy.

Anonymous said...

when was this painted???

Anonymous said...

The full story of this painting is here: http://www.mdvanii.ch/en/article/the-portrait-of-billyboy-as-barbie-en

The Barbie painting, called “Portrait of BillyBoy” was made as a gift for BillyBoy* with a back ground colour of "BillyBoy* Blue", and it was not commissioned by Jill Barad,...it was BillyBoy* who suggested to Andy to sell a copy of the one he received as a gift from Andy to Mattel and BillyBoy* encouraged Jill Barad to buy it, at the time they paid $75,000 for it....it was made in 1986 (not 1985). The only reason Warhol made the painting was to give it to BB* as explained in the article in the link above and he did not have any of the ideas you mention, he simply made it as a gift……The original was made for BillyBoy* as a gift and he still owns it, the second (which is red, not pink) was sold to Mattel, the third destroyed by error and no others were made and certainly not for any type of exhibition, he died right after making it,….

JPL

Anonymous said...

The full story of this painting is here: http://www.mdvanii.ch/en/article/the-portrait-of-billyboy-as-barbie-en

The Barbie painting, called “Portrait of BillyBoy” was made as a gift for BillyBoy*, this was the only reason Andy Warhol did it, it was entirely made on the suggestion of BillyBoy* as explained in the article link above … it was never intended to be in any kind of exhibition The original was made for BillyBoy* (in BillyBoy* Blue) as a gift who still owns it, the second was sold to Mattel for $75,000, the third destroyed by error and no others were made and certainly not for any type of exhibition, he died right after making it,….it was made in 1986, not 1985.

JPL