The screenprint Gems 188 by Andy Warhol is a print from the artist’s Gems portfolio. This print beautifully portrays an emerald gemstone in a traditional emerald cut. Warhol adds pink and orange to the background to help the gem’s colors pop. This portfolio of four showcases the individuality of each gem through Warhol’s playful variation on traditional still life. Semi-precious gems such as rubies and diamonds embody the idea of beauty and glamour that resonates with the rest of Warhol’s work.
Gems 188 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Andy Warhol became a collector of jewelry after his success. He often wore elaborate pieces by Cartier or Harry Winston when he attended parties, which displayed his love for precious gemstones. The Gems prints, featuring emeralds and rubies, is a series Warhol created later in life. The Gems series has an autobiographical dimension in that Warhol had a secret love of feminine things, which he sometimes concealed by wearing his jewelry under his clothes, despite his wealth and celebrity. Warhol’s appreciation of all things decadent, comes across in this series and other works he did around the same time, including After The Party, 1979, Shoes, 1980, and Reigning Queens, 1985.