In 1983, Andy Warhol embarked on the creation of a series of screenprints on luxurious silk scarves, resulting in an enigmatic artwork cataloged as “Fish (FS IIIA.40)”. The scarf’s design is based on the wallpaper he used to adorn the gallery walls during his 1983 Paintings for Children exhibition at the Bruno Bischofberger Gallery in Zürich, Switzerland. At the heart of this piece is a mesmerizing duo of fish, and the use of silk as the canvas elevates the piece infuses it with a sense of luxury and sophistication, elevating it to a level of potentially wearable art that transcends the gallery space.
Warhol’s genius lies in his ability to transform ordinary objects into extraordinary art, and the Fish silk scarf takes this signature style in a unique direction. What makes this artwork truly unique and special is its intended purpose as personalized holiday gifts. Each silk scarf was intended for a specific recipient, and Warhol took the time to inscribe handwritten dedications on each one, infusing them with a heartfelt and intimate touch. This exclusivity makes each scarf a cherished and one-of-a-kind possession, highly sought after by collectors who value the unique combination of Warhol’s artistic prowess and his personal connections.
However, Warhol’s silk scarves were not limited to the Fish motif; he used this medium for other special occasions, such as The Only Way Out Is In, which he produced a year later. Warhol collaborated with his master printer, Rupert Jasen Smith, whose expertise ensured that the silk scarves captured the essence of Warhol’s artistic vision with flawless precision. Smith’s reputation as a skilled printer of Warhol’s iconic works in the 1980s underscores the impeccable quality of Fish.
In Fish (FS IIIA.40), Warhol’s brilliance shines through, creating a masterful piece of art that effortlessly blends simplicity, charm, and a deeply personal touch. Each silk scarf serves as a testament to Warhol’s creative genius and his genuine affection for the recipients, leaving behind a precious legacy that speaks to the enduring impact of this iconic artist. As a potentially wearable masterpiece, Fish invites viewers to contemplate the artistry of everyday objects as well as the profound connection between the artist and their audience.
Warhol’s silk scarves were printed by Rupert Jasen Smith, Warhol’s master printer, who printed Warhol’s most prolific works in the 1980s.