The Shadow 267 (Trial Proof) is part of Andy Warhol’s 1981 Myths series. In this piece, Warhol portrays himself as “The Shadow,” a popular radio crime fighter from the 1930s. The Shadow Radio Show was narrated by a mysterious character and crime fighter in order to boost the sales of the Detective Story Magazine, produced by the same company as the show. In Warhol’s take on “The Shadow,” the double portrait has him looking out at the viewer as well as in a darkened, shadowy profile.
Perhaps the question that the image begs of the viewer is one of the recurring lines from the show: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”
The Shadow 267 (Trial Proof) by Andy Warhol as Part of his Larger Body of Work
The Shadow 267 (Trial Proof) is a part of ten screenprints in the Myths series that exemplify Warhol’s unerring sense for the powerful motifs of his time. Most of images in Warhol’s Myths series are taken from 1950s television or old Hollywood films. They portray the universal view of America’s once captivating and commanding past. Other pieces included in the series are characters loved by children such as Mickey Mouse, Howdy Doody, and Santa Claus, as well as fictional figures like Dracula, The Wicked Witch of the West, and Uncle Sam. While each of these characters has a strong, sometimes unpleasant persona, they are distinctly separated from reality. It has been said that Warhol considered each of these characters to be facets of his personality. Each of the ten works in Warhol’s Myths portfolio represents a different archetype of American popular culture.