Action Picture 375 by Andy Warhol is a screenprint from his Cowboys and Indians portfolio. In this portfolio, Warhol explores the Old West as an All-American collective history. Warhol’s work creates a commentary on mass-media and the way in which contrived imagery can affect how we understand our history. Images in this series are based on characters in the Hollywood adaptation of our history. Most of the time, they do not truly represent the roles that these real individuals historically played.
Action Picture 375 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Warhol interspersed recognizable portraits of well-known American “heroes” with less familiar Native American images and motifs in his ironic commentary on Americans’ collective mythologizing of the historic West. Rather than portraying Native Americans within their historical landscape or Cowboys in their veritable forms, Warhol chose to portray a popular, romanticized version of the American West. The West that he chose to represent is familiar to everyone and can be seen in novels, films, TV series. Warhol’s Cowboys and Indians series is an ahistorical representation that mirrors a popular interpretation of the American West. Action Picture 375 is a fine example of Warhol’s aesthetic intent in its reduction of an entire heritage and way of life into a single “trademark” image.