Andy Warhol’s Alexander Iolas portrait depicts the famous Greek gallerist and collector who is said to have discovered Warhol. This Iolas portrait shows the dearness of their relation, with Iolas in a relaxed position, displaying a closeness that is not seen in Warhol’s portraits of cultural icons and celebrities. This closeness is multiplied by the medium of the work, as it is paint on canvas––a style that Warhol used sparsely. Warhol’s use of synthetic polymer paint adds a texture and dimension to the painting that is not as evident in his two-dimensional screenprints.
Alexander Iolas by Andy Warhol as Part of his Larger Body of Work
Iolas was one of Warhol’s first fans, as he met the artist in 1948 when Warhol was only 17. A few years later, in 1952, Iolas gave Warhol his first solo gallery exhibit: “Andy Warhol –– Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote.” The two remained friends throughout their lives, and in 1987, Iolas commissioned Warhol’s The Last Supper suite for a show in Milan. The two came full circle, as this was Warhol’s last gallery exhibit, coming shortly before both of their deaths. Iolas even published some of Warhol’s works––both of Alexander the Great.