The Mick Jagger complete portfolio by Andy Warhol is a series of ten screenprints published in 1975. It is one of Warhol’s most iconic series, and depicts the Rolling Stones lead singer from a variety of angles.
Warhol’s fascination with fame and celebrity shines through not only his art, but through his lifestyle as well. Warhol’s “Superstar” set was the most glamorous clique in New York; the artist constantly had 20th century icons in his orbit. Warhol was a celebrity’s celebrity, rubbing elbows with stars from Bill Murray to John Lennon. But Warhol’s and Jagger’s friendship stands out as one of the most super-powered celebrity relationships, largely due to its legacy in the arts. The Mick Jagger portfolio documented the cultural force of Jagger and Warhol with brash honesty. Even among Warhol’s other iconic celebrity silkscreens, the Mick Jagger Portfolio stands out as a unique look at a musical legend through Warhol’s eccentric yet intimate eyes.
Andy Warhol spent a considerable amount of time with Mick Jagger and his then wife, Bianca. Their relationship, discussed in Warhol biographies and cultural histories alike, stands as a noteworthy point of 70s culture. Their artistic collaboration sparked headlines long before the completion of the Mick Jagger portfolio, when Warhol contributed the artwork for the Rolling Stones’ album Sticky Fingers. It started when Jagger asked Warhol to design the album’s sleeve, giving him full artistic freedom. His only request was that Warhol shouldn’t make the cover too complex in order to avoid problems during production. Warhol agreed but ignored the request, and went on to produce the legendary cover, featuring a functional zipper.
Warhol’s design, a close-up of Joe Dallesandro’s crotch in jeans, instantly attracted attention. This album cover became a defining image of the Rolling Stones; Warhol perfectly captures the band’s unapologetic sexuality and willingness to push the envelope. This episode made it clear that Warhol and Jagger held similar artistic ethos; both were iconoclasts, willing to turn social conventions upside down for the sake of art.
The Mick Jagger complete portfolio, the artistic peak of Warhol and Jagger’s friendship, was released four years later. The portfolio comprises ten screenprints based on photographs Warhol captured. The series is notable not only for its use of Warhol’s famous bright colors and stenciled lines, but also as an early “collage” example (also seen in Reigning Queens). This style uses overlaid images, ripped borders, and a postmodern aesthetic as an approach to color. It would soon became of Warhol’s greatest contributions to Pop Art. The collage design reflects Warhol’s unique ability to transform the influence of other iconic Pop Artists, specifically noted collage artist Richard Hamilton.
The Mick Jagger complete portfolio remains one of Warhol’s most famous celebrity silkscreen series, for good reason. The images of Mick Jagger are arguably as iconic as the man himself. Just like the cover of “Sticky Fingers,” the Mick Jagger portfolio captures both the unforgettable persona of two of the most well known and prolific artists of all time.
The portfolio consists of ten screenprints printed on Arches Aquarelle paper, and most of the prints are also signed in black, green, or red felt pen by Mick Jagger. Included in this portfolio are: FS II.138 to FS II.147.
Mick Jagger Complete Portfolio as Part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
In the 1970s, Warhol spent most of his time focusing on commissioned celebrity portraits. With his famous polaroid camera, he captured images of everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Muhammad Ali. He had also recently founded Interview Magazine in 1969, with his friend and assistant Gerard Malanga.
Warhol’s relationship with Mick Jagger was both friendly and professional. In 1969, the Rolling Stones approached Warhol and asked him to design the sleeve for their ninth studio album Sticky Fingers. Warhol agreed and received a letter from Mick Jagger that included a polite warning not to make the cover too complex to avoid problems during production. Warhol ignored Jagger’s warning and went on to produce an unforgettable cover that featured a close-up shot of actor and Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro.