Andy Warhol’s Giant Panda 295 is one screenprint in a series of ten which make up the artist’s Endangered Species portfolio. Giant Pandas live in the mountain ranges of China, but farming and deforestation have driven them out of their land. In addition to habitat loss, low birth rates have also contributed to Giant Panda’s state as an endangered species.
Giant Panda 295 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
In 1983, Warhol was commissioned by his friend and publisher, Ron Feldman and his wife Freyda, to create the series. Both Freyda and Ron were celebrated political activists and involved philanthropists. In 1983, they asked Warhol, whom they had grown somewhat close to, if he would create a portfolio of ten endangered animals in order to raise awareness. After its completion, Warhol fondly referred to this series as “animals in makeup,” given the bold, popart colors he used to portray the animals as larger than life. In 1986, Warhol was commissioned again to do a series of animals in danger of extinction, this time it was illustrations for a book detailing the animals’ backgrounds and what kind of impact their extinction would have on our livelihood.