Warhol started working on the original print as a commission for an album cover for the Japanese band The Chanels, who were embroiled in a copyright battle over their name with French fashion brand Chanel. The name Rats and Star 21 utilizes the fact that Rats is a palindrome for Star, which reflected the band members’ life story. Rats was the term used to define the poor living conditions that the band endured while growing up in the less affluent areas of Tokyo. Their story of rags to riches and eventual pop stardom suggested that even rats could become stars, a notion close to Warhol’s heart as the son of working-class immigrants.
Rats and Star (Unique) by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Bought from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Sold with a Certificate of Provenance, indicating the work originates from the Estate of Andy Warhol, and thence, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Christie’s will maintain a database of these purchases which will be used to substantiate provenance in the future and supply relevant information to the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné.
Further, the print is stamped with Estate of Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc stamps will accompany the work, or when the work is a signed and numbered edition print.