Annie Oakley 378 features an American sharpshooter of the “wild west,” Annie Oakley. Her exceptional talent led to a starring role in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show (1885) and allowed her to become an American female superstar. She won numerous medals for her marksmanship, performed for royalty, and remains a legendary figure of the American West. Warhol’s application of his trademark bold and vibrant colors allows us to see this past American hero as a modern pop culture icon.
Annie Oakley 378 by Andy Warhol as Part of his Larger Body of Work
In Cowboys and Indians, Warhol interspersed recognizable portraits of well-known American heroes with less familiar Native American images and motifs. It demonstrates his ironic commentary on America’s collective mythologizing of the historic West. Rather than portraying Native Americans within their historical landscape, Warhol chose to portray a romanticized version of the American West. The West that he chose to represent is familiar to everyone and can be seen in novels, films, and television series. Warhol’s Cowboys and Indians suite is an ahistorical representation that mirrors a popular interpretation of the American West. Annie Oakley 378 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.