Mick Jagger 147 by Andy Warhol is one of ten prints included in Warhol’s Mick Jagger portfolio from 1975. This series captures the famous rock star from a variety of angles, each of which shows a different side of Jagger’s persona. The Mick Jagger portfolio presents the same repetitive style seen in works like Warhol’s Marilyn and Mao series. This time, however, Warhol‘s subject delivers a myriad of facial expressions.
In Mick Jagger 147, the Rolling Stones frontman stares straight at the viewer, his face resting against his intertwined fingers. This image presents a more serious side of the rock star, a more intimate version of himself. Warhol’s meticulous use of color highlights Jagger’s infamous and recognizable features. The portrait is mostly black and white, with gleaming hair and an orange overlay on one side of his face.
It is no surprise that Warhol had a clear fascination with Hollywood, fame, and celebrity life. His love for these stars and their extravagant lifestyles became a common theme in Warhol’s work. Icons of pop culture infatuated Andy, who sought to reflect their starry image back to his audience. Some of Warhol’s other work which features well-known Hollywood stars include his Liz Taylor portraits, Marilyn Monroe series, and Grace Kelly prints, all of which are on display at the Revolver Gallery.
Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger first met in 1964 at a party for the Rolling Stones in New York. The band was in the middle of its first US tour, and Warhol was right in the midst of his rise to fame. Jagger would eventually become an active member of the Factory scene, which led to the friendship between him and the artist. Andy Warhol soon became very close friends with Jagger and his wife Bianca, and even taught their daughter Jade how to paint.
Although Warhol admired many of his subjects, the bond between him and Jagger was more than a personal friendship. Not only were the two close acquaintances, but they collaborated many times in their professional life as well, working together for the first time in 1971 on the album artwork for Sticky Fingers. This iconic cover design features a close up of a man’s crotch in tight jeans, with a functional zipper and belt buckle. This record goes down in history as one of the most famous album covers of all time.
When talking about his admiration for Jagger, Warhol once said, “1 – He’s very talented; 2 – He’s very intelligent; 3 – He’s very handsome; 4 – He’s very adorable; 5 – He’s a great business person; 6 – He’s a great movie star; 7- I like his fake cockney accent… Image is so important to rock stars. Mick Jagger is the rock star with the longest running image”. Warhol and Jagger’s blossoming friendship would lead to a number of artistic collaborations during their careers. In the summer of 1975, Jagger and his wife Bianca rented Warhol’s Long Island home. Here, the artist spent time with the couple, and captured the famous polaroid images that would form the basis of these portraits of the stern-faced rock star.
The feelings of admiration were mutual between the two friends. In tribute of the late artist, Mick Jagger stated: “The thing that he seemed to be able to do was to capture society, whatever part of it he wanted to portray, pretty accurately. That’s one thing artists do, is show people later on what it was like. If you want to be reminded of a certain period, you can look at what Andy was doing then. He was very much in tune with what was going on. Of course, [people criticized him] for that, for being sort of trendy. But I think some people’s great forte is being so in touch.”
Ultimately, Warhol’s Mick Jagger portfolio highlights the complexities of Jagger as an artist and friend. The work depicts some of the most spectacular images of the The Rolling Stones’ lead singer, and shows Warhol at his most creative. Mick Jagger 147 is a staple of Warhol’s oeuvre. The print gracefully captures the peak of his artistic ability as well as his love for celebrity.