Andy Warhol’s Camouflage complete portfolio was printed in 1987 by his close friend and collaborator, Rupert Jasen Smith. Warhol’s Camouflage screenprints were the final works published before his death the same year. While still alive, Warhol had the opportunity to exhibit the Camouflage screenprints only once at a group show in New York, 1986.
The pop artist was inspired to create the Camouflage complete portfolio after his assistant, Jay Shriver, shared with Warhol that he was working on abstract paintings by pushing paint through the mesh of the military cloth. Warhol had Shriver go to the local New York army surplus store near Union Station to buy some camouflage fabric. Once Shriver had returned with the fabric, it was then photographed and the mesh was removed to only reveal the shapes and patterns of the fabric. Changing the originally muted militaristic color scheme to vivid pop colors, Warhol appropriated the everyday pattern into striking abstract pieces of pop art.
Warhol also collaborated with Stephen Sprouse, a notable fashion designer, to create a clothing line that focused on pop art camouflage. Shortly after, Warhol continued his interest in the pattern and created one of his most famous self-portraits, which was layered with a camouflage print.
It was not until after Warhol died that the Camouflage series was printed, so he never got the opportunity to sign his works. However, Warhol’s Camouflage prints — an abstract yet iconic form — are an enduring testament to the artist’s obsession with a shared, mass-produced visual language. The Camouflage complete portfolio consists of eight screenprints that are printed on Lenox Museum Board. Each print is signed and numbered in pencil on verso by the executor of The Estate of Andy Warhol, with a stamped certificate of authenticity. The screenprints included in Warhol’s Camouflage complete portfolio are FS II.406 through FS II.413.