Based on a photograph taken by nature photographer Patricia Caulfield, Andy Warhol’s Flowers series is one of his most desired portfolios. In Flowers 70, Warhol employed calming pastel colors, which deviates from his typical use of psychedelic, vibrant colors. The flowers are colored powder blue, honeysuckle yellow and a light orange, set against a pale pink background. By cropping and slightly abstracting the image, Warhol was able to make it his own image from a “readymade” photograph and change the context. He also accomplished this by inverting the image prior to adding the colors.
Flowers 70 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Following Warhol’s famously censored work The Thirteen Most Wanted Men (1964), which features the mugshots of criminals, Warhol created the Flowers portfolio. Since flowers are often representative of fragility and purity, the screenprints were a drastic departure in content following the creation and display of Thirteen Most Wanted Men. At the time Warhol created these works, the Flower Power movement was well established. While the artist himself was not a part of the movement, it was perhaps an influence in the making of these works. Warhol continued with floral imagery in his portfolios Flowers (Black and White) and Flowers (Hand-Colored). It can be said that Warhol took a keen interest in flower imagery during his career as an artist. Although this strayed from Warhol’s expected subject matter of commercial and mass-media imagery, it was nonetheless one of his most favorited series.